16 Jul Cellular Dynamics get license to use stem cell-derived cells in drug testing
MADISON – Cellular Dynamics International (CDI) has exclusively in-licensed a US-issued patent portfolio on optimizing the stem cell differentiation selection process and on using heart cells (cardiomyocytes) in drug testing.
The license, obtained from Dr. Loren Field and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), The license enables Cellular Dynamics to produce cells derived from stem cells in large quantities for use by drugmakers.
“CDI is building an industrial pipeline and automated process enabling us to plug in different cell types and generate large quantities of purified cells,” said Chris Kendrick-Parker, chief commercial officer of CDI. “That is the primary requirement for commercial application of these cells as tools in the pharmacology and toxicity testing market.”
Brad Fravel, business development manager at Indiana University Research & Technology Corporation said, “As a leader in the pluripotent stem cell field, CDI is a great licensing partner for IUPUI. We are confident CDI will run with this technology, exploiting it to its fullest potential.”
The license enables CDI to optimize the process of developing and purifying different cell types created from human pluripotent stem cells, including the company’s first commercially available product line, human cardiomyocytes. Under the licensed technology, pluripotent stem cells are engineered to include a selectable “marker.” As the stem cells begin to differentiate into different terminal cell types (e.g. heart, blood, neural cells, etc.), the marker allows researchers to identify and select a particular cell type (e.g. heart cells) and produce a highly purified and functional cell population.
The license also covers the use of cardiomyocytes purified through this technology for drug testing. CDI is using the Field technology in conjunction with the patents it has licensed from the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF), UW-Madison’s tech-transfer vehicle, to create a pipeline that mass produces cells for large-scale drug screening campaigns at pharmaceutical companies and for regenerative medicine applications.