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Cellular Dynamics International, Inc.
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Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell-derived Neurons Provide an Improved in vitro Cell Model for Neurology-related Basic and Drug Discovery Research
MADISON, WI., December 13, 2011—Cellular Dynamics International (CDI) today announced the commercial launch of human iCell® Neurons for use in neuroscience drug discovery, neurotoxicity screens, and other health research. This is the first commercial availability of human neurons, or brain cells, created from induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells in the quantity, quality, and purity required for life science research.
iCell Neurons exhibit the typical physiological characteristics and responses of the neurons with which we are born. These neurons quickly form connective neuronal networks that are electrophysiologically active, making them useful in a variety of applications commonly used in neuroscience research, including cell viability, ATP production, oxidative stress, neurite outgrowth, electrophysiology, and synaptic neurotransmission assays. CDI's proprietary manufacturing capabilities enable the production of iCell Neurons in industrial quantities with greater than 95% purity.
CDI has successfully engaged in pre-launch collaborations with several pharmaceutical customers for validation testing and establishing disease-relevant neuroscience assays. "We have been working with CDI for some time now and are very impressed with their iCell Neurons, which provide us with a unique model of pure and highly differentiated human neurons showing real potential for measuring functional neurotransmission," said Dr. Pascal Laeng, Head of Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology at Galenea Corp. "The preliminary data are very promising, and we look forward to continued collaboration with CDI to implement iCell Neurons in our high throughput assay of synaptic function."
Dr. Johannes Mosbacher, Director of CNS Electrophysiology, Actelion Pharmaceuticals, said, "CDI's human iPSC-derived neurons, iCell Neurons, offer unprecedented opportunities for drug discovery and development. The cells not only functionally express key ion channels and receptors but also form electrophysiologically active networks. These attributes of iCell Neurons help substantiate the possibility that these cells provide an exciting new human model of neuronal physiology that augments traditional ones, such as rat primary neurons and human neuronal cell lines."
iCell Neurons present a human platform that enables the modelling of healthy neuronal cells to improve the predictability of drug candidate efficacy and toxicity screens early in the pharmaceutical pipeline process. "The human brain represents a complex organ that has consistently proven difficult to model in vitro, and this is partially reflected in the lack of effective therapeutics to treat neurological diseases and disorders," said Chris Parker, Chief Commercial Officer. "Degenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and ALS, and genetic dispositions, such as Huntington's and muscular dystrophy, can also be modelled to better understand these disease states for drug discovery and eventual therapies."
Because iCell Neurons are human cells, they better recapitulate human biology. These cells are better predictors of drug candidate responses than current cell models, including immortalized cell lines and primary neurons isolated from rodent tissues, which present significant limitations in biological relevance, reproducibility, and scalability.
Robert Palay, Chief Executive Officer of CDI, said, "iCell Neurons are the third iPSC-derived product CDI has now commercially launched. We launched the first product ever developed from iPS cells, iCell Cardiomyocytes, in December 2009, followed by iCell Endothelial Cells in September 2011. Based on strong intellectual property and exclusively licensed patents, we have developed a proprietary process to industrialize the manufacture of virtually any cell type in the human body. CDI is the first company to utilize stem cell technology to manufacture the vast quantities of high quality stem cells and tissue cells required to better understand human biology, revolutionize the drug discovery process, and develop cell-based therapies to treat human diseases."
About Cellular Dynamics International, Inc.
Cellular Dynamics International (CDI), a FUJIFILM company, is a leading developer and manufacturer of human cells used in drug discovery, toxicity testing, stem cell banking, and cell therapy development. The Company partners with innovators from around the world to combine biologically relevant human cells with the newest technologies to drive advancements in medicine and healthier living. CDI’s technology offers the potential to create induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) from anyone, starting with a standard blood draw, and followed by the powerful capability to develop into virtually any cell type in the human body. Our proprietary manufacturing system produces billions of cells daily, resulting in inventoried iCell® products and donor-specific MyCell® Products in the quantity, quality, purity, and reproducibility required for drug and cell therapy development. Founded in 2004 by Dr. James Thomson, a pioneer in human pluripotent stem cell research, Cellular Dynamics is based in Madison, Wisconsin, with a second facility in Novato, California. For more information, please visit www.cellulardynamics.com, and follow us on Twitter @CellDynamics.
FUJIFILM Holdings Corporation, Tokyo, Japan brings continuous innovation and leading-edge products to a broad spectrum of industries, including: healthcare, with medical systems, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics; graphic systems; highly functional materials, such as flat panel display materials; optical devices, such as broadcast and cinema lenses; digital imaging; and document products. These are based on a vast portfolio of chemical, mechanical, optical, electronic, software and production technologies. In the year ended March 31, 2015, the company had global revenues of $20.8 billion, at an exchange rate of 120 yen to the dollar. Fujifilm is committed to environmental stewardship and good corporate citizenship. For more information, please visit: www.fujifilmholdings.com.