iPS Academia Japan will distribute Cellular Dynamics International (CDI)'s iCell® Cardiomyocytes, the first commercially available product based on induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), in Japan. The distribution agreement is designed to help make the technology widely available to researchers worldwide, the companies say.
iPS Academia Japan was originally established to manage the patents and technology arising from the work of stem cell pioneer and Kyoto University researcher Shinya Yamanaka, M.D., Ph.D. That portfolio consists of about 30 patent families in the iPS cell technology and some 30 license arrangements executed with domestic or international enterprises.
CDI was the first foreign company granted a license to Dr. Yamanaka's iPSC patent portfolio in May 2010. Besides iCell Cardiomyocytes, the firm is developing other cell types from iPSCs, including endothelial cells, neurons, and liver cells. Launch is expected within a year.