Investor Relations & Corporate Communications
Cellular Dynamics International, Inc.
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Chalfont St. Giles, UK and MADISON, WIS, USA – 18 December 2012 – GE Healthcare Life Sciences, a business unit of GE Healthcare (NYSE: GE) and Cellular Dynamics International (CDI), a leading commercial producer of human induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell lines and tissue cells, announced today that GE Healthcare has licensed CDI to develop, manufacture and sell cellular assays and models derived from induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells for use in drug discovery and toxicity screening. The agreement follows the recent announcement that GE Healthcare has expanded its license with Geron to obtain exclusive global rights to Geron’s intellectual property and know-how for the development and sale of cellular assays derived from iPS cells. Financial terms were not disclosed.
As the worldwide pharmaceutical industry seeks to reduce drug development costs and bring more effective, safer drugs to market, the availability of more biologically relevant and predictive cell models becomes increasingly important. GE Healthcare is pioneering the development of human cell-based assays and models for use in drug discovery and predictive toxicity screening. In 2010 the company launched Cytiva™ cardiomyocytes (human heart cells), stem cell-based assays that are already helping pharmaceutical companies identify drug candidates that show toxic effects much earlier in the discovery process.
Cellular Dynamics develops, manufactures and sells human cells based on iPS cell technology and currently offers iCell® Cardiomyocytes, iCell Neurons (brain cells), iCell Endothelial Cells (blood vessel cells) and iCell Hepatocytes (liver cells). CDI has also launched MyCell® Products, a custom cell manufacturing service that leverages the ability of iPS cell technology to make stem cells or terminal cells from any individual, including those with diseases of interest to pharmaceutical companies and academic scientists.
Dr Amr Abid, General Manager, Cell Technologies, GE Healthcare Life Sciences, said, “We believe it is important that stem cell-based assays are available to researchers so that progress can be made in drug discovery; clarity and freedom to operate is fundamental to advancing the use of such assays. Our recently extended agreement with Geron provided the foundation for the type of agreement we are announcing today. GE Healthcare believes that such agreements are the next step to enabling the wider industry to benefit from the use of this key intellectual property without violating patent rights. We are delighted that Cellular Dynamics International is the first company to work with us to bring greater clarity to the marketplace.”
Bob Palay, CEO of Cellular Dynamics International, added, “CDI’s mission is to provide human cell-based research and drug discovery tools that enhance scientists’ ability to better understand human biology, increase efficiency of the discovery process and ultimately improve human healthcare. The IP space surrounding stem cell technology is complex. With the licensing of the GE-Geron intellectual property portfolio, CDI now has more than 700 licensed or owned patents and patent applications. We have built our IP portfolio intending to ensure broad freedom to operate and to offer customers products that they can use with confidence and the knowledge that their subsequent discoveries are protected by this IP portfolio.”
About GE Healthcare
GE Healthcare provides transformational medical technologies and services that are shaping a new age of patient care. Our broad expertise in medical imaging and information technologies, medical diagnostics, patient monitoring systems, drug discovery, biopharmaceutical manufacturing technologies, performance improvement and performance solutions services help our customers to deliver better care to more people around the world at a lower cost. In addition, we partner with healthcare leaders, striving to leverage the global policy change necessary to implement a successful shift to sustainable healthcare systems. Our “healthymagination” vision for the future invites the world to join us on our journey as we continuously develop innovations focused on reducing costs, increasing access and improving quality around the world. Headquartered in the United Kingdom, GE Healthcare is a unit of General Electric Company (NYSE: GE). Worldwide, GE Healthcare employees are committed to serving healthcare professionals and their patients in more than 100 countries. For more information about GE Healthcare, visit our website at www.gehealthcare.com
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.