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ReproCELL Licensed Commercialization Right on Human iPS Cell Derived Hepatocytes - Expected Launch in Q2 2012

YOKOHAMA, Japan, December 15, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --

ReproCELL, Inc. (CEO: Chikafumi Yokoyama PhD) announces today that the company licensed worldwide right to commercialize hepatocytes derived from human iPS (induced pluripotent stem) cells. ReproCELL has been collaborating with the National Institute of Biomedical Innovation (NIBIO; Director General: Koichi Yamanishi; Osaka, Japan) to establish an effective in-vitro drug screening for hepatic toxicity and liver metabolism using hepatocytes derived from human iPS cells since early this year.

Together with NIBIO, the company successfully established the hepatocytes which highly express active drug metabolizing enzyme. Currently, the company is evaluating the system using various drugs with pharmaceutical companies to observe how the drugs are metabolized.  ReproCELL is anticipating its commercialization in Q2 2012. Prior to the launch, sample of the cells will become available for testing to pharmaceutical and biotech companies in January 2012.

ReproCELL is a world-leading pioneer in commercializing human pluripotent stem cells as an effective tool for drug discovery and development. The company has successfully launched iPS cell derived cardiomyocytes in April 2009 for cardiac toxicity testing, followed by the launch of iPS cell derived neuronal cells in October 2010 for efficacy screening of neuroactive compounds.

ReproCELL's Representative Director and CEO, Chikafumi Yokoyama PhD commented, "We are pleased to see iPS cell-derived hepatocytes showing the highest level of quality ever seen, expressing the same qualities as that of primary human hepatocytes currently used by the pharmaceutical industry, including drug metabolizing enzyme activity. We can expect to see its early adoption for drug toxicity and pharmacokinetic studies."

Aspects of NIBIO's technology on the induction of iPS cell-derived hepatocyte differentiation can be found in the following publication:

Efficient Generation of Functional Hepatocytes From Human Embryonic Stem Cells and Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells by HNF4α Transduction.

Takayama K, Inamura M, Kawabata K, Katayama K, Higuchi M, Tashiro K, Nonaka A, Sakurai F, Hayakawa T, Kusuda Furue M, Mizuguchi H., Mol Ther. 2011 Nov 8. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 22068426

Company:  ReproCELL Inc.
Representative: Chikafumi Yokoyama PhD,
Contact:   Tel:+81-(0)45-475-3887
KDX Shin-Yokohama 381 bldg. 8F, 3-8-11 Shin-Yokohama, Kohoku-ku,
Yokohama, Kanagawa 222-0033, Japan

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