Deal represents Lonza’s entry into the human pluripotent stem cell market.

Lonza signed a worldwide, exclusive licensing and supply agreement with California Stem Cell focused on the development of novel pluripotent stem cell products for research. The partnership will combine CSC’s methods for the scalable production of multiple cell types from human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) with Lonza’s expertise in primary cells and its marketing muscle.

“This partnership will address the evolving needs of the research community by making broadly available high-purity, human pluripotent stem cell-derived cells and related media products wordwide,” comments Hans Keirstead, chairman of CSC’s scientific advisory board.

The firms envisage that the first products to be marketed under the agreement will include NeuroPlate™ hPSC-derived neural progenitors and MotorPlate™ hPSC-derived motor neuron progenitors. Launch of the products with associated culture media is anticipated during 2010. Additional  products are also planned for launch this year, and Lonza will begin to manufacture and distribute CSC’s media portfolio.

The collaboration marks Lonza’s entry in the hPSC market, the firm points out, and the CSC portfolio will complement its own Clonetics® and Poietics® brands of primary stem cells and optimized media. “California Stem Cell is one of the few companies that is able to produce cells derived from human pluripotent stem cells in the quantities needed to support our customers’ research programs worldwide,” remarks Heun van der Heide, Lonza’s head of research solutions.

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