Technology licensed through the Indiana University Research and Technology Corp. is helping a Wisconsin startup grow. The patents being used by Cellular Dynamics International involve creating cell cultures for use in the development and testing of potential new drugs.

August 15, 2013

News Release

Indianapolis, Ind. — A Wisconsin startup company that raised $46 million in its initial public offering July 24 is one of the few such ventures to come to market with sales revenues, thanks in part to patented technologies licensed from Indiana University.

Cellular Dynamics International, founded by stem cell pioneer James A. Thompson, professor of cell and regenerative biology at the University of Wisconsin, markets human induced pluripotent stem cells, which can be directed to grow into a variety of adult cell types.

Included in the company's intellectual property are seven patents licensed from the Indiana University Research and Technology Corp. The patents are based on research by Loren J. Field, professor of medicine and of pediatrics at the IU School of Medicine, and his colleagues, whose work focuses on regeneration of heart muscle cells.

The patents cover techniques developed by the Field team to make purified cultures of differentiated cells. Cellular Dynamics uses those techniques to make some of the cells it markets to pharmaceutical companies for use in development and testing of potential new drugs. The company's customers include Eli Lilly and Co. of Indianapolis.

“This agreement is a great example of how research discoveries at Indiana University and the School of Medicine can contribute to the development of life-saving drugs as well as economic growth,” said Tony Armstrong, president and CEO of IURTC.

As of the company's public offering filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Cellular Dynamics had paid IURTC $343,000 in licensing fees and royalties, and an additional $105,000 to reimburse IURTC for the legal expenses of filing and protecting the patents. The agreement could bring IURTC up to $4 million in total payments for using the patented processes, as well as additional reimbursements if future legal actions are necessary to protect the patents.

Source: Indiana University

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