Cellular Dynamics International (CDI) said today it will lease space from the Buck Institute for Research on Aging in Novato, CA, for a new stem cell research facility designed to create and bank human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) with a partner institution, using two grants totaling about $26 million from the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), the state’s stem cell agency.

CIRM awarded a $16 million grant to CDI to create three iPSC lines for each of 3,000 healthy and diseased donors. Tissue samples will be derived from donor peripheral blood or skin biopsies from patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, autism spectrum disorders, liver diseases, cardiovascular diseases, neurodevelopmental disabilities such as cerebral palsy and infantile epilepsy, diseases of the eye, or respiratory diseases. CDI will generate the iPSCs using the episomal, or footprint-free, reprogramming method CDI themselves first developed.

“The 9,000 iPSC lines developed in this proposal will be made widely available to stem cell researchers studying these often intractable diseases,” CIRM stated on its website.

CDI signed a lease for up to five years in the Buck Institute’s stem cell research building, itself partially funded through CIRM. Part of the space will be subleased to the Coriell Institute for Medical Research to construct a stem cell bank, an activity for which CDI is a subcontractor.

Coriell Institute will establish a biorepository with proven methods for managing sample collection and tracking, safe storage, and capabilities for worldwide distribution of iPSCs generated by CDI. Coriell Institute was awarded nearly $10 million ($9,999,834) from CIRM for the biorepository, which according to CDI and Coriell will be the world’s largest human iPSC bank, and be broadly accessible to researchers worldwide.

“Our location in the Buck Institute, with its focus on improving human ‘healthspan’ and researching age-related disease, is a great opportunity for us to interact and collaborate with the top academic scientists in the field. We see this as a great opportunity to draw top talent to CDI’s second location,” Tom Novak, Ph.D., CDI’s vp of strategic partnerships, said in a statement.

Founded in 2004 by human pluripotent stem cell research pioneer James Thomson, Ph.D., of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, CDI is a commercial producer of iPSC lines and tissue cells for drug discovery, safety, stem cell banking, and cellular therapeutics. CDI uses its manufacturing technology to produce differentiated tissue cells in industrial quality, quantity, and purity from any individual’s stem cell line created through a standard blood draw.

Coriell Institute, founded in 1953, is dedicated to unlocking the genetic code of human disease, examining the utility of genetic information in clinical care through the Coriell Personalized Medicine Collaborative research study.

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