Otsu/Shiga, Japan – June 24, 2013 – Takara Bio Inc. announced today that it has granted Cellular Dynamics International, Inc. (CDI, Madison, Wisconsin, USA) a non-exclusive, worldwide license to use Takara Bio’s RetroNectin® product. Based on the original methodology that CDI successfully first established to create induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) with non-integrating episomal vectors, CDI has the ability to use RetroNectin® as one of its tools for the development and manufacture of its iCell® and MyCell® products.


RetroNectin® is a recombinant human fibronectin fragment that increases efficiency in retrovirus mediated gene transduction. The RetroNectin® method, developed in collaboration with Indiana University in the U.S., has become a global standard protocol for gene therapy. In addition, Takara Bio also discovered that gene-transfected cells, including iPSCs, are efficiently produced when cultured in the presence of a cell-adhesive substance like RetroNectin® after transfection of a foreign gene into the target cells through cell perforation. Takara Bio holds a patent in the U.S. related to this technology, and CDI receives certain rights under this patent as part of the license agreement.


CDI is a leading developer of stem cell technologies for in vitro use in drug discovery, toxicity testing and chemical safety as well as in vivo cell-based therapeutic research and stem cell banking. CDI’s iCell® products include cardiomyocytes, neurons, hepatocytes, and endothelial cells. In addition, CDI’s MyCell® products include custom cell products manufactured from donor samples using iPSC technology to make stem cells or differentiated cells from any individual, including those with diseases of interest to pharmaceutical and academic researchers.


Under this agreement, Takara Bio will receive a lump sum licensing payment from CDI, and CDI intends to purchase RetroNectin® from Takara Bio as needed. Takara Bio will actively develop the licensing business for technologies and know-how related to the iPSC area.


[ 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.


[ About Cellular Dynamics International, Inc. ]

Cellular Dynamics International, Inc. (CDI) is a leading developer of stem cell technologies for in vitro use in drug discovery, toxicity testing and chemical safety; in vivo and cell-based therapeutic research; and stem cell banking. CDI harnesses its unique manufacturing technology to produce differentiated tissue cells in industrial quality, quantity and purity from any individual’s stem cell line created from a standard blood draw. CDI was founded in 2004 by Dr. James Thomson, a pioneer in human pluripotent stem cell research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. CDI’s facilities are located in Madison, Wisconsin. CDI’s headquarters are located in Madison, Wisconsin, with a second facility in Novato, California. See www.cellulardynamics.com. Follow us on Twitter @CellDynamics or www.twitter.com/celldynamics..