|FUJIFILM Cellular Dynamics, Inc. (FCDI) recently announced it has entered into an exclusive patent license agreement with the University of California – Irvine (UCI) through its offices at UCI Applied Innovation to license and commercialize UCI’s technologies for derivation of microglia in the commercial research field and also a non-exclusive patent license agreement to commercialize microglia media formulation. The license of UCI’s groundbreaking technology enables FCDI to differentiate pluripotent stem cells into microglia cells, a brain cell type that plays a critical role in preserving the function of the brain. With this technology, FCDI intends to develop an iPSC-derived microglia product with media, which will be critical to enabling the study of degenerative neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease.
“Until now researchers have relied predominantly on animal models, which do not sufficiently mimic the human disease, to study the role microglia play in neurodegeneration,” said Seimi Satake, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of FCDI. “With UCI’s technology, FCDI will bring to market iPSC-derived microglia that will provide researchers with better tools to characterize microglia from donors with neurological diseases, to develop assays that distinguish between normal and diseased behaviors and to advance efforts in discovering new therapies.”
“We are pleased that FCDI has licensed our protocol to make and distribute microglia to the scientific community. As leaders in the field of providing iPSC-derived products, we are confident that FCDI will provide researchers and scientists with a reliable product in large scale to carry out quality studies,” said Wayne Poon and Edsel Abud, UCI co-inventors of the technology.
“We are delighted that FCDI has recognized the importance of iPSC-derived microglia to model and study human neurological disease and advance our understanding of microglia biology,” added Matt Blurton-Jones, UCI Associate Professor and co-inventor of the technology. “We hope that, by making this new technology readily available to the scientific community, researchers worldwide will uncover important new findings and accelerate the discovery of promising therapies.”
The intellectual property licensed by UCI Applied Innovation is the outcome of the published study, iPSC-derived Human Microglia-like Cells to Study Neurological Diseases (Abud, Edsel M. et al., Neuron, Volume 94, Issue 2, 278 – 293.e9), which used FCDI’s proprietary iPSC-derived hematopoietic progenitor cells (HPCs) as well as other HPCs. The study results suggest that iPSCs derived from adult somatic cells from donors can be turned into brain microglia cells. A stable and consistent supply of iPSC-derived microglia cells from healthy and diseased donors can foster understanding of human microglia and the role that they play in neurological diseases.
In the United States, a common neurological disorder, Alzheimer’s disease, affects more than 5.1 million people; it is characterized by cognitive decline as a result of cell death (source: NIH).
About FUJIFILM Cellular Dynamics, Inc.
FUJIFILM Cellular Dynamics, Inc. (FCDI), is a leading developer and supplier of human cells used in discovery, toxicity testing and regenerative medicine applications. Leveraging technology that can be used to create induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and differentiated tissue-specific cells from any individual, FCDI is committed to advancing life science research and transforming the therapeutic development process in order to fundamentally improve human health. The company’s inventoried iCell® products and donor-specific MyCell® Products are available in the quantity, quality, purity and reproducibility required for drug and cell therapy development. For more information, please visit: www.FujifilmCDI.com
FUJIFILM Holdings Corporation in Tokyo, Japan, brings innovative solutions to a broad range of global industries by leveraging its depth of knowledge and fundamental technologies derived from photographic film. Its proprietary core technologies contribute to the fields of healthcare, graphic systems, highly functional materials, optical devices, digital imaging and document products. These products and services are based on its extensive portfolio of chemical, mechanical, optical, electronic and imaging technologies. For the year ended March 31, 2018, the company had global revenues of $23.0 billion, at an exchange rate of 106 yen to the dollar. Fujifilm is committed to responsible environmental stewardship and good corporate citizenship. For more information, please visit: www.fujifilmholdings.com.
About the University of California – Irvine
Founded in 1965, UCI is the youngest member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. The campus has produced three Nobel laureates and is known for its academic achievement, premier research, innovation and anteater mascot. Led by Chancellor Howard Gillman, UCI has more than 30,000 students and offers 192 degree programs. It’s located in one of the world’s safest and most economically vibrant communities and is Orange County’s second-largest employer, contributing $5 billion annually to the local economy. For more on UCI, please visit: www.uci.edu
About UCI Applied Innovation
UCI Applied Innovation leads UCI’s campus innovation culture, championing the most brilliant and promising UCI research so that technologies, cures, treatments, products, and businesses reach the real world. Through its Research Translation department, UCI Applied Innovation provides a business-friendly gateway to these discoveries, and collaborative partnerships that create new industries and help existing ones transition and scale. UCI available technologies can be searched here.