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November 25, 2009

CiRA obtains two new patents

November 25, 2009 - Kyoto University announced that it has acquired Japanese patents on two new inventions relating to induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. The patents describe novel methods for the generation of iPS cells and the induction of differentiation.

The first of the two, Japanese patent No. 2009-056747, describes a technique developed by the Center for iPS Cell Research and Application (CiRA) scientists for establishing iPS cell lines using only three transgenes (Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4) by culturing the cells with the growth factor basic FGF (bFGF). This represents an important advance over the original iPS derivation method, which was also patented by CiRA in September 2008, as it allows the pluripotent cells to be generated without the use of c-Myc, a known oncogene.

The second patent (Japanese patent No. 2009-056750) describes how iPS cells generated by either the original method using four pluripotency genes, or the method using three genes and bFGF outlined above, can be induced to differentiate into somatic cells.

CiRA Director Shinya Yamanaka comments, "We are delighted to have been granted these two new patents and will continue to strive toward the development of even safer and more effective methods for iPS cell generation, in the hopes of contributing to iPS cell-based applications in the future."

The term of both patents will be 20 years from the date of the filing of the parent application (2007-550210) on December 12, 2006.

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