Stemgent and iPS Academia Japan, Inc, enter into global patent license agreement

June 12, 2012 —Stemgent, Inc. (Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.A) (Stemgent), a company dedicated to developing cutting-edge induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell  technologies and iPS Academia Japan, Inc. (Kyoto, Japan) (AJ) announced a worldwide non-exclusive licensing agreement for AJ’s induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) patent portfolio. The portfolio arises from work by Professor Shinya Yamanaka, MD, PhD, Center for iPS Cell Research and Application (CiRA) at the University of Kyoto, Japan. With the rights granted through this agreement, Stemgent can continue to lead the field in developing the most innovative iPS technologies and services for the academic community and also be able to extend these rights, through a sub-license agreement, to commercial entities for drug screening applications. This will enable biotech and pharmaceutical researchers to take full advantage of the premier non-integrating reprogramming technique, Stemgent mRNA Reprogramming System.  The Stemgent mRNA Technology is currently the fastest, safest and most efficient approach to reprogramming somatic cells. With this framework, both parties aim to simplify access to iPS cell technology and therefore accelerate its use in both basic and commercial research applications. Terms of the agreement are not disclosed.
“Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) generated from normal and diseased adult cells have the capacity to differentiate into many specialized cell types and hence have the potential to provide patient-specific and comparative data that allows for greater predictive accuracy in disease models than exists today. Our agreement with AJ gives pharma and biotech companies the necessary intellectual property and knowledge to use  Stemgent’s clinically-relevant, mRNA Reprogramming Technology in their drug discovery research,” says Ian Ratcliffe, President and Chief Executive Officer of Stemgent.  
“iPS Academia Japan is pleased to grant the non-exclusive license and build a  relationship with Stemgent. Because iPSCs are generated without the involvement or destruction of human embryos, iPSCs are gaining greater acceptance for uses in drug discovery and disease research, as well as other areas of biotechnology.  Since Stemgent has close relationship with research community both for basic science and commercial science, we believe that Stemgent’s business will contribute to boost the acceptance of iPSC technology,” said Shosaku Murayama, president and Chief Executive Officer of AJ. “We hope for the further advancement of the iPSC technology and its practical use in the coming years and we continue to support expanding the iPSC technology by licensing our patent portfolio.”
Stemgent, Inc. is engaged in working alongside some of the world’s leading stem cell scientists in developing innovative technology and application solutions for the advancement of stem cell research. Our mission is to help simplify and support cellular reprogramming research by producing products being designed by leading stem cell researchers worldwide. Our scientific development sites are located in both Cambridge, Massachusetts and San Diego, California.
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iPS Academia Japan, Inc. (AJ) is an affiliate of Kyoto University, and its main role is, among other activities, to manage and utilize the patents and other intellectual properties held/controlled by Kyoto University and other universities in the field of iPSC technologies so that the research results contribute to health and welfare worldwide. AJ was established in Kyoto in June 2008.  AJ's patent portfolio consists of more than 60 patent families (the total number of patent applications is about 220 cases) in the iPSC technology as of April 2012, and about 50 license arrangements have been executed with domestic or international enterprises.  
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