Fate Therapeutics, Inc. in collaboration with BD Biosciences, a segment of BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company), today announced the introduction of the first induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-related product resulting from the collaboration between the two companies. BD™ SMC4 is a patent protected, pre-formulated cocktail of small molecules for improving cellular reprogramming efficiencies and for enabling single-cell passaging and flow cytometry sorting of iPSCs in feeder cell-free and other pluripotent cell culture systems.
"iPSCs have the potential to redefine the way medical research is conducted," said Dr. Charles Crespi, Vice President at BD Biosciences. "However, most current reprogramming technologies are inefficient, which slows research efforts. BD SMC4 is an exciting complement to the BD portfolio of stem cell technologies that can accelerate the pace of research, and, ultimately, drug development."
The collaboration between BD Biosciences and Fate Therapeutics seeks to provide life science researchers and the pharmaceutical community reliable access to advanced iPSC tools and technologies. These technologies are for use in human disease research, drug discovery and the manufacture of cell-based therapies. The identification of the small molecule additives, and their use in an industrial platform for iPSC generation and characterization was recently published in the journal, Scientific Reports (Valamehr et al Scientific Reports 2, Article number: 213, 2012).
"Our research focus has uncovered novel technologies to enable the commercial and industrial application of iPS cells," said Dr. Peter Flynn, Vice President of Biologic Therapeutics at Fate Therapeutics. "The BD SMC4 media additive was developed at Fate to enable our scientists to internally perform high-throughput generation, clonal selection, characterization and expansion of pluripotent cells, and we are excited to empower the stem cell research community with these important iPSC technologies through our collaboration with BD."
iPSC technology holds great promise for disease modeling, drug screening and toxicology testing as well as for autologous and allogeneic cell therapy. Building on the foundational work of its scientific founders, Drs. Rudolf Jaenisch and Sheng Ding, Fate Therapeutics is developing a suite of proprietary products and technologies to overcome the remaining technical hurdles for iPS cell integration into the therapeutic development process. Under the three-year collaboration, Fate and BD will co-develop certain stem cell products using Fate's award-winning iPSC technology platform, and BD will commercialize these stem cell products on a worldwide basis. The iPSC product platform of Fate Therapeutics is supported by foundational intellectual property including U.S. Patent No. 8,071,369, entitled "Compositions for Reprogramming Somatic Cells," which claims a composition comprising a somatic cell having an exogenous nucleic acid that encodes an Oct4 protein introduced into the cell.