SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, CA, USA AND KYOTO, JAPAN - February 1, 2011 - Kyoto University, iPS Academia Japan Inc. (iPS-AJ), and iPierian Inc., announced today they have entered into a series of intellectual property agreements creating a unified, worldwide patent estate covering induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technology. Under the terms of the agreements iPierian has assigned to Kyoto University the iPSC patent estate it previously acquired from Bayer Schering Pharma AG in 2008 which is based on research conducted at the Bayer Yakuhin Ltd., Kobe Research Center. Kyoto University and iPS Academia Japan Inc. has, in turn, granted iPierian non-exclusive worldwide rights to its combined patent estate relating to iPSC technology for use in drug discovery and development.
Kyoto University and iPierian have also announced that Professor Shinya Yamanaka, the pioneer of iPSC technologies and director of the Center for iPS Cell Research and Application (CiRA) at Kyoto University, has joined iPierian's Scientific Advisory Board.
"Kyoto University hopes to disseminate its patents non-exclusively to maximize research results and my goal is to bring iPSC technology to patients with intractable diseases as soon as possible. This agreement meets these wishes, and I expect the development of iPSC technologies will now advance further at even higher speeds,'' said Professor Yamanaka. "Many of my colleagues at The Gladstone Institute, UCSF and Harvard are already actively involved with iPierian, and I am delighted to join them in guiding iPierian's industrialization of iPSC technology for drug discovery and development."
With CiRA as the leading institute focused on iPSC research in the world, Kyoto University has worked to obtain patents associated with iPSC technologies in order to create an environment where academic and corporate researchers can use the technology without any concern. Kyoto University believes that this assignment agreement has significance for iPSC research.
Professor Hiroshi Matsumoto, Ph.D., president of Kyoto University, said, "We appreciate iPierian respects and values the discovery of iPSC technologies by Professor Yamanaka and offered to assign the patent estate to Kyoto University. Now, Kyoto University will be able to more rapidly and efficiently promote the spread of iPSC technology. Kyoto University will make the utmost effort to obtain as many patents as possible, having a competitive advantage of our patent portfolio."
"iPS Academia Japan is pleased to grant the non-exclusive license and build a long-lasting relationship with iPierian. I believe that this will accelerate the realization of iPSC technology," said Osamu Yoshida, MD, PhD, president and chief executive officer of iPS Academia Japan Inc.
"In just the few years since Professor Yamanaka's pioneering discovery, the potential utilities of iPSC technology have become more and more evident. His work, already recognized by the Lasker Award, the Imperial Prize, and the Kyoto Prize, has the potential to spark a radical transformation of our understanding of complex diseases, improve the success rate of drug discovery, and enable the promise of regenerative medicine. We are delighted to welcome Prof. Yamanaka to our Scientific Advisory Board, and look forward to his contributions," said Michael C. Venuti, Ph.D., chief executive officer of iPierian. "These agreements further strengthen and capitalize on iPierian's leading position to pursue iPSC-enabled drug discovery, both internally and in worldwide partnerships with leading pharmaceutical companies and we look forward to establishing iPSC technology as the biopharma industry standard for drug discovery and development."
About Kyoto University
Founded in 1897 as the second university to be established in Japan, Kyoto University advances higher education and cutting-edge academic research while fostering a spirit of self-reliance among its students and researchers. At present, Kyoto University has 17 graduate schools, 10 faculties, 14 research institutes and 27 education and research centers and facilities. Currently, there are approximately 9,300 graduate and 13,400 undergraduate students, 2,900 faculty members and 2,500 administrative staff members. Kyoto University states its mission to sustain and develop its historical commitment to academic freedom and to pursue harmonious coexistence within human and ecological community on this planet.
To learn more about Kyoto University, please visit http://www.kyoto-u.ac.jp/en.
Kyoto University founded the Center for iPS Cell Research and Application (CiRA) as a part of the Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences (iCeMS) in January 2008 to advance induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell research and applications. It was designated as the university's 14th research institute in April 2010. CiRA is a pioneering organization that specializes in iPS cell research, the world's first research institute of its kind.
For more information, visit: http://www.cira.kyoto-u.ac.jp/e/about/index.html
About iPS Academia 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 might contribute to health and welfare worldwide. AJ was established at Kyoto in June 2008. AJ's patents portfolio consists of approximately thirty patent families (the total number of patent applications is about 120 cases) in the iPSC technology as of September 2010, and approximately 30 license arrangements have been done with domestic and international enterprises. Further information can be found at www.ips-cell.net
iPierian is the leading biopharmaceutical company focused on the industrialization of induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technology and the discovery and development of innovative therapeutics using patient-derived cells as models of human disease. iPierian's approach places the patient at the forefront of the drug discovery process in order to reduce drug development time and increase the probability of success by using precise human disease models to develop proprietary small molecule or biologic therapeutics. The initial therapeutic focus of the company is neurodegenerative diseases, including spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease, in addition to a broad therapeutic area program intended for partnering in metabolic disease.
The company's Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) is comprised of leading researchers and authorities in the stem cell field, including individual investigators from the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, The Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease, The University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), and Kyoto University. Our SAB members include George Q. Daley, M.D., Ph.D., Douglas A. Melton, Ph.D., and Lee L. Rubin, Ph.D. all of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, Deepak Srivastava, M.D., of The Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease and UCSF, and Shinya Yamanaka, M.D, PhD., of Kyoto University, the Center for iPS Cell Research and Application (CiRA), and The Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease.
iPierian is located in South San Francisco, California. For more information, please visit www.ipierian.com