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iZumi Bio and Kyoto University Form Collaboration to Advance Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Technology
Date:4/14/2009

Former Vice President Al Gore Endorses Trans-Pacific Collaboration to Promote Use of Patient Cells for Drug Discovery and Development and Cell-Based Therapies

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., and KYOTO, Japan, April 14 /PRNewswire/ -- iZumi Bio, Inc., and Kyoto University's Center for iPS Cell Research and Application (CiRA), today announced a collaboration to promote the basic research, development and application of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell technology - a form of cellular reprogramming which originated in Japan - with the goal of advancing drug discovery and enabling cell-based therapies.

"Stem cell research holds great promise for the creation of new therapies that could revolutionize the treatment of disorders such as Parkinson's disease, diabetes and muscular dystrophy. The discovery that iPS cell technology brings, that "stem cell-like" cells can be generated from a small amount of human skin rather than from embryos, opens a new door for stem cell research and its application to therapeutic discovery," said Al Gore, former Vice President of the United States and a partner at venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers. Noting that Science Magazine named cellular reprogramming the "breakthrough of the year" in 2008, Gore concluded, "The partnership between these two leading organizations is a critical step in furthering this research and turning stem cell research into therapeutic realities sooner."

Through the collaboration, iZumi and CiRA will exchange part of their representative human iPS cell lines derived by various methods. The two organizations also will conduct comparison and characterization studies independently but will share their results to determine which methods produce the most appropriate iPS cell lines for drug screening and development, and those most suitable for cell-based therapy.

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SOURCE iZumi Bio, Inc.; Kyoto University
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