Cellular Dynamics International, Inc. (CDI) entered a Center of Excellence agreement with AstraZeneca to accelerate drug discovery efforts using human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) lines and tissue cells. Financial terms were not disclosed.
iPSC technology is based on reprogramming adult cells from a blood sample or a skin biopsy to a pluripotent stem cell state and has shown promise in delivering human cell models of high utility in drug discovery, without the ethical concerns linked to the use of human embryonic stem cells.
AZ will utilize CDI’s commercially available iCell and MyCell products for iPSC reprogramming and differentiation, and the two companies will collaborate to develop one or more novel cell types. AstraZeneca will purchase CDI's iCell products, including iCell Cardiomyocytes, iCell Neurons, iCell Endothelial Cells, and iCell Hepatocytes, for use in their safety, discovery, and regenerative medicine programs. Also, CDI will work with AZ to develop new iPSC-derived cell types to enable novel discovery screening applications.
Steve Rees, vice president of Screening Sciences & Sample Management, Discovery Sciences at AZ, said, "This agreement with Cellular Dynamics enables AstraZeneca to access world-leading expertise in stem cell technology so that we can better test potential new medicines for safety and efficacy."
Bob Palay, chief executive officer of CDI, said, "This is the third Center of Excellence agreement we have entered into with a global pharma company, and these partnerships show customer recognition that leveraging CDI's technical expertise and Resources can help accelerate their discoveries. We are excited that AstraZeneca shares our vision that iPSC technology can be transformative. The Center of Excellence agreements show CDI's leadership in developing best practices to employ human iPSCs to advance healthcare discoveries."
AstraZeneca in Discovery Pact with Cellular Dynamics
Published January 3, 2013
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