AstraZeneca, Cellular Dynamics enter stem cell research collaboration

Hannah Blake

pharmaphorum

Cellular Dynamics International has announced a Center of Excellence agreement with global pharmaceutical company, AstraZeneca, with the aim of accelerating the pace of drug discovery through the use of human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) lines and tissue cells.

Cellular Dynamics is a leading developer of next-generation stem cell technologies for drug development, cell therapy, tissue engineering and organ regeneration. iPSC technology, based on reprogramming adult cells from a simple blood sample or a skin biopsy to a pluripotent stem cell state, shows promise in delivering robust human cell models of high utility in drug discovery and without the ethical concerns linked to the use of human embryonic stem cells.

“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.”

Steve Rees, VP Screening Sciences &amp, Sample Management, Discovery Sciences at AstraZeneca.

“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.”

Bob Palay, chief executive officer of CDI.

Under terms of the agreement, AstraZeneca will take advantage of commercially available iCell® products and CDI’s recently launched MyCell™ Products for iPSC reprogramming and differentiation. The two parties will collaborate on the development of one or more novel cell type(s). AstraZeneca will purchase CDI’s commercially available iCell products, including iCell Cardiomyocytes, iCell Neurons, iCell Endothelial Cells, and iCell Hepatocytes, for use in their safety, discovery, and regenerative medicine programs. Further, AstraZeneca will rely on CDI’s novel MyCell Products to genetically engineer and manufacture cells from specific patient groups for use as in vitro disease models. In addition, CDI will work in partnership with AstraZeneca toward development of new iPSC-derived cell type(s) to enable novel discovery screening applications. Financial terms of the agreement were undisclosed.

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Related news:

Cellular Dynamics inks stem cell pact with AstraZeneca (The Business Journal)

Reference links:

Cellular Dynamics press release 

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