Life Technologies Signs License and Collaborative Stem Cell Research Agreement
with Harvard University
Research collaboration aimed at yielding standardized method for evaluating
iPS cell quality; deepens Life's investment to its expanding stem cell product
CARLSBAD, Calif., March 4, 2013
CARLSBAD, Calif., March 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --Life Technologies Corporation
(NASDAQ: LIFE) announced today that it has signed a collaborative research
agreement and related license with Harvard University under which it has
acquired exclusive rights to develop a panel of characterization assays
designed to rapidly evaluate human pluripotent stem (hPS) cells for their
utility in a variety of discovery and translational research applications. The
license expands Life's growing portfolio of stem cell research products and
deepens its commitment to customers in the field.
The panel, which will be offered on the company's market-leading semiconductor
sequencing and PCR-based genetic analysis platforms, will help overcome major
hurdles that impede stem cell technology from moving into the clinic. Current
methods for evaluating pluripotency – the potential for induced pluripotent
stem (iPS) cells to differentiate into any cell type – are laborious, costly
and can produce ambiguous results.
Standardizing the way researchers characterize iPS cells will allow them to
quickly identify the most promising cell lines and avoid wasting time and
resources on cells that do not possesses the appropriate characteristics. Such
efficiency could accelerate applications ranging from development of
"disease-in-a-dish" models from patient-derived cells and drug screening, to
the eventual use of pluripotent cells as a renewable source for
"As iPS cell research grows in scale and moves closer to the clinic,
investigators are increasingly in need of characterization standards that
enable them to make informed decisions about the quality of their cells," said
Chris Armstrong, Ph.D., General Manager and Vice President of Primary and Stem
Cell Systems at Life Technologies. "Our investment in this important work
developed at Harvard University supports our sustained commitment to provide
our customers with the most innovative tools for the iPS cell workflow."
The panel of assays was developed by Alex Meissner, Ph.D., Associate
Professor, Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology, Harvard
University, and is being further studied and validated in collaboration with
Life Technologies. Dr. Meissner is the lead author of a study in the journal
Cell (Vol. 144, No. 3, pp. 439-452, Feb. 4, 2011) that identified a range of
expression levels among key genes associated with pluripotency. By measuring
gene activity in iPS cells against the study's gene expression range,
Meissner's lab was able to accurately score cells for their potential to
differentiate into particular cell lineages.
"Stem cell research and genomics have rapidly advanced in parallel over the
past few years," said Dr. Meissner. "Combining both fields of study is
enabling more effective and standardized ways of characterizing pluripotent
cells and, therefore, greatly improving efficiency and the application of iPS
Considered a growing segment in the field, the global stem cell
characterization market is currently estimated to be $30 million per year,
while the overall market for the stem cell research tools is approximately $1
billion, according to BioInformatics LLC.
This announcement marks the third major license agreement in less than a year
for Life Technologies' Primary and Stem Cell Systems group. In June 2012, the
company retained the non-exclusive global rights from iPS Academia Japan for
its iPS cell patent portfolio – enablingLife Technologies to expand its range
of products and services. That same month, the company also announced a
partnership with Cellular Dynamics International (CDI), the world's largest
producer of human cells derived from (iPS) cells, to commercialize a set of
new products optimized to consistently develop and grow human iPS cells.
About Life Technologies
Life Technologies Corporation(NASDAQ:LIFE) is a global biotechnology company
that is committed to providing the most innovative products and services to
leading customers in the fields of scientific research, genetic analysis and
applied sciences. With a presence in more than 180 countries, the company's
portfolio of 50,000 end-to-end solutions are secured by more than 5,000
patents and licenses that span the entire biological spectrum -- scientific
exploration, molecular diagnostics, 21^stcentury forensics, regenerative
medicine and agricultural research. Life Technologies has approximately 10,000
employees and had sales of $3.8 billion in 2012.
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This press release includes forward-looking statements about our anticipated
results that involve risks and uncertainties. Some of the information
contained in this press release, including, but not limited to, statements as
to industry trends and Life Technologies' plans, objectives, expectations and
strategy for its business, contains forward-looking statements that are
subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results or events
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