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December 12, 2011

The second iPSC patent registered in the U.S.

Kyoto University was granted its second patent associated with the method to generate induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) utilizing four genes by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), following its first patent granted in August 2011, it was announced on November 24.

With the issuance for the U.S. patent application number 12/457, 356, Kyoto University has been granted patent rights associated with the iPSC technology in seven nations and three regions – Hong Kong, Israel, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, the U.S., Eurasia and Europe.

Kyoto University has filed a continuing application with the patent application number 12/213,035, including two provisional applications on the iPSC technology, to the USPTO. In addition to the foregoing continuing application, Kyoto University filed another continuing application with the application number 12/457,356. This latter application was filed under the Patent Prosecution Highway based on the Japanese patent number 4183742. The university received a Notice of Allowance from the USTPO on August 12, and the patent was registered on November 15.

The second U.S. patent covers the method to generate iPSCs by introducing four genes into somatic cells with retroviral vectors. It also covers the use of iPSCs generated with the method including sale and differentiation of the iPSCs in accordance with the patent legislation.

As a public entity like Kyoto University owns the patent covering from the generation method of iPSC to the use of it, more corporate scientists in the U.S. are encouraged to work on the technology without much concern about patent fee.

"I am very pleased that the second patent on iPSC technology has been issued in the U.S. This patent will be expected to promote further advancement in drug discovery and studies in the pathogenesis,"said Dr. Shinya Yamanaka, who invented the generation method.

Kyoto University will continue to advance iPSC research and to disseminate the technology as the leading institute in the world.

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