Lonza Announces License Agreement with iPS Academia Japan

August 02,2012

Lonza adds to its market leading portfolio of cell therapy services and products, demonstrating its commitment to regenerative medicine  

Walkersville, MD (USA), 2 August 2012 – Lonza has entered a worldwide, non-exclusive licensing agreement with iPS Academia Japan, Inc. for its induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) patent portfolio. By entering this agreement, Lonza demonstrates its commitment to the field of regenerative medicine and reinforces its belief that iPSCs are a key platform technology for the cell therapy market.  

In 2007, Dr. Shinya Yamanaka and colleagues at Kyoto University became the first to successfully convert adult human cells to an embryonic stem cell-like state. This process, called cellular reprogramming, generated the world’s first human induced pluripotent stem cell line.  The following June, iPS Academic Japan was established to manage the intellectual property stemming from this seminal discovery and others made by Dr. Yamanaka and his team.   

By gaining rights to these patents, Lonza is adding to its market leading portfolio of cell therapy services and products that include process development and assay development as well as manufacturing therapeutic cells under current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP). The company is poised to apply its considerable expertise in the manufacture of therapeutic cells to iPSC generation and cell banking.  Producing cGMP-grade cell banks is seen as an important first milestone necessary to bring an iPSC-based therapy to the clinic.     

“As the iPSC field advances and clinical applications become closer to reality, Lonza is ready to support our clients in navigating the significant hurdles of process scale-up and optimization, cGMP manufacturing, and regulatory compliance,“ said Lukas Utiger, Chief Operating Officer of Lonza Bioscience. He added, “In our pluripotent stem cell technologies group, we continue to help our clients by ‘building bridges from research to therapy’.  With this license in place, we are well positioned to support our clients as they move from the research laboratory to a cGMP cell therapy suite.”  

"I am very pleased to hear that Lonza, a worldwide biotechnology company, has signed an intellectual property agreement with iPS Academia Japan," said Dr. Shinya Yamanaka, director of the Center for iPS Cell Research and Application (CiRA), Kyoto University.  "I hope that the deal will help speed up the movement towards bringing iPS cell-based drug development at the earliest possible stage."  

“iPS Academia Japan is pleased to grant a non-exclusive license to Lonza, a worldwide leader in lifescience contract manufacturing.  Lonza is an ideal partner to drive iPSC technology towards commercial success," said Shosaku Murayama, President and Chief Executive Officer of iPS AJ.  

About iPSC Academic Japan
iPS Academia Japan, Inc. (AJ) is an affiliate of Kyoto University, and its main role is, among other activities, to manage and utilize the patents and other intellectual properties held/controlled by Kyoto University and other universities in the field of iPSC technologies so that the research results contribute to health and welfare worldwide. AJ was established in Kyoto in June 2008.  AJ's patent portfolio consists of more than 60 patent families (the total number of patent applications is about 220 cases) in the iPSC technology as of April 2012, and about 50 license arrangements have been executed with domestic or international enterprises.  For more information, visit www.ips-cell.net.

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