September 17, 2012, Billerica, MA — Merck Millipore, the Life Science division of Merck and iPS Academia Japan, Inc. (Kyoto, Japan) today announced a global licensing agreement for AJ’s induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell patent portfolio. The non-exclusive agreement provides Merck Millipore the opportunity to continue to develop and ultimately commercialize iPS cells for research applications. Under the agreement, Merck Millipore will continue to offer its STEMCCA™ reprogramming kits, which provide a highly efficient, reproducible method for creating iPS cells. The iPS cell patent portfolio is a result of work by Professor Shinya Yamanaka, MD, PhD, Center for iPS Cell Research and Application at Kyoto University, Japan. Terms of the agreement are not disclosed.
“We are extremely honored to collaborate with AJ on furthering research in the area iPS cell technology,” said John Sweeney, Head, Bioscience Business Unit, Merck Millipore.“To collaborate with the founder of iPS cell discovery provides the ideal opportunity for Merck Millipore to build upon our current product offering of the STEMCCA™ reprogramming kits, as well as further advance our research and discovery in the area of stem cell technology, and to provide our customers with the tools necessary in this important, breakthrough area of stem cell research.”
“AJ is pleased to grant a non-exclusive license and build a relationship with Merck Millipore. Since Merck Millipore has close relationship with both academic community and commercial community, we believe that Merck Millipore’s business will contribute to boost research and development for practical application of iPS cell technology,” said Shosaku Murayama, president and Chief Executive Officer of iPS Academia Japan, Inc.
Induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, discovered by Dr. Shinya Yamanaka, are adult cells that have been genetically reprogrammed to an embryonic stem cell-like state by being forced to express genes and factors important for maintaining the defining properties of embryonic stem cells. Induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells have potential to further various aspects of stem cell research, from the establishment of patient-specific stem cell populations to disease models.
Merck Millipore’s STEMCCA™ kit is designed for researchers to obtain and work with induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. Utilizing the STEMCCA™ kit, scientists are able to generate human and mouse iPS cells using a single, excisable polycistroniclentiviral vector that delivers all four reprogramming factors discovered by Dr. Yamanaka.
About iPS Academia Japan, Inc.
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 contribute to health and welfare worldwide. AJ was established in Kyoto in June 2008. AJ's patent portfolio consists of more than 60 patent families (the total number of patent applications is about 220 cases) in the iPSC technology as of August 2012, and about 60 license arrangements have been executed with domestic or international enterprises.
For more information, visit http://www.ips-cell.net/.
About Merck Millipore
Merck Millipore is the Life Science division of Merck KGaA of Germany and offers a broad range of innovative, performance products, services and business relationships that enable our customers’ success in research, development and production of biotech and pharmaceutical drug therapies. Through dedicated collaboration on new scientific and engineering insights, and as one of the top three R&D investors in the Life Science Tools industry, Merck Millipore serves as a strategic partner to customers and helps advance the promise of life science.
Headquartered in Billerica, Massachusetts, the division has around 10,000 employees, operations in 67 countries and 2011 revenues of EUR 2.4 billion. Merck Millipore operates as EMD Millipore in the U.S. and Canada.
Note: Merck KGaA or Merck shall mean Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany
Merck is a global pharmaceutical and chemical company with total revenues of € 10.3 billion in 2011, a history that began in 1668, and a future shaped by more than 40,000 employees in 67 countries. Its success is characterized by innovations from entrepreneurial employees. Merck's operating activities come under the umbrella of Merck KGaA, in which the Merck family holds an approximately 70% interest and shareholders own the remaining approximately 30%. In 1917 the U.S. subsidiary Merck & Co. was expropriated and has been an independent company ever since.