Otsu/Shiga, Japan – September 27, 2012 – Takara Bio Inc. announced to launch a primer set that enables scientists to check whether the pluripotent stem cells, such as ES or iPS cells, have differentiated or not. Since May 2011, Takara Bio’s Dragon Genomics Center has been developing a new method to evaluate the quality of human ES cells with Kyoto University as part of the NEDO (New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization) project, “Fundamental Technology Development for Promoting Industrial Application of Human Stem Cells.” In this endeavor, Takara Bio has analyzed gene expression patterns for a variety of different human ES cell lines to find the genes characteristic to stem cells.

 

As a result, 88 genes have successfully been identified that display different expression patterns between undifferentiated ES cells and differentiated ones. Based on these genes, Takara Bio commercialized a reagent (primer set) that utilizes its real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) reagent to realize easy confirmation of whether or not cells have maintained their undifferentiated state (pluripotency). This product can also be applied to iPS cells, to evaluate not only the culture conditions but also the quality of newly created iPS cells.

 

[ About Takara Bio Inc. ]

Takara Bio Inc. is an innovative biotechnology company based in Shiga, Japan. As a world leader in biotechnology research and development, Takara Bio was the first company to market PCR technology in Japan and is also the developer of the RetroNectin® reagent, which is a world-standard in gene therapy protocols. In addition to providing research reagents and equipment to the life science research market, Takara Bio has active research and product development activities in the fields of gene and cell-based therapy, and agricultural biotechnology; and is committed preventing disease and improving the quality of life for all people through the use of biotechnology. Through strategic alliances with other industry leaders, the Company aims to extend its reach around the world. More information is available at http://www.takara-bio.com.