iZumi Bio and Kyoto University Form Collaboration to Advance Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Technology
Former Vice President Al Gore Endorses Trans-Pacific Collaboration to Promote Use of Patient Cells for Drug Discovery and Development and Cell-Based Therapies
“Stem cell research holds great promise for the creation of new therapies that could revolutionize the treatment of disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, diabetes and muscular dystrophy. The discovery that iPS cell technology brings, that “stem cell-like” cells can be generated from a small amount of human skin rather than from embryos, opens a new door for stem cell research and its application to therapeutic discovery,” said
Through the collaboration, iZumi and CiRA will exchange part of their representative human iPS cell lines derived by various methods. The two organizations also will conduct comparison and characterization studies independently but will share their results to determine which methods produce the most appropriate iPS cell lines for drug screening and development, and those most suitable for cell-based therapy.
“This collaboration, which is focused on the advancement of iPS cell technology, will help us attain our goal of making drug discovery and development faster, more efficient and informed in order to create new therapeutics for unmet medical needs. Our approach is based on a paradigm shift that puts the patient at the forefront of the drug discovery process. Using patient and disease-specific cells to develop assays and screening systems has the potential to change the way drug discovery has been conducted to date by shortening the time to clinic through the selection of drug candidates with a higher probability of success,” said
iZumi and CiRA respectively offer the capability to take skin cells from a diseased patient with known genotypic and phenotypic information and reprogram the cells to behave similarly to human embryonic stem cells. These iPS cells can then be changed into various cell types in the body using directed differentiation. The differentiated cells are then transformed into cell-based, disease-specific assays to identify small molecules, biologics or other agents for drug discovery.
“We are very pleased to collaborate with iZumi, a major biotechnology venture in
In 2006, Dr. Yamanaka announced that his lab succeeded in inducing iPS cells in mouse by using four transgenes – Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4 and c-Myc – delivered into fibroblasts via retroviral vectors, which became the world’s first report of its kind. He also reported the generation of human iPS cells the following year. iPS cell technology has the potential to avoid ethical issues and the risks of immune rejection – major obstacles for embryonic stem cell use in the clinic. Dr. Yamanaka’s seminal papers have led to an explosion of renewed interest and focus in stem cell research worldwide. Recognized as a pioneer in the field of iPS cell technology, he now conducts research activities mainly at CiRA.
About iZumi Bio
iZumi Bio is a
iZumi’s technology involves reprogramming somatic cells to a pluripotent state. Because iPS cells have stem-cell-like properties and have the potential to differentiate into any cell type, iPS cells are considered to be of great potential for disease research, preclinical drug testing and cell-based therapy. iZumi’s approach places the patient at the forefront of the drug discovery process, which could reduce drug development time and increase the probability of success for drug candidates. iZumi plans to use cellular reprogramming, including its iPS technology, to find new molecular targets and develop proprietary therapeutic small molecule or biologic drugs for its own pipeline to treat specific diseases.
CiRA was established at
SOURCE iZumi Bio, Inc.;