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Cellular Dynamics International Unlocks the Potential of Banked Blood Samples
Date:6/27/2011

MADISON, Wis., June 27, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Cellular Dynamics International (CDI) today announced the online publication of an article in the journal Blood demonstrating for the first time a methodology for researchers to access the biology stored in repositories of banked blood samples through the creation of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). According to the article, entitled "Human lymphoblastoid B-cell lines reprogrammed to EBV-free induced pluripotent stem cells," the derived iPSCs retained genotypic identity and were differentiated into cell types comprising all three germ layers in the body, including blood, heart, neural, and liver cells.

Blood samples are often banked as reference material from the study of various diseases, rare genetic disorders and genome wide association studies (GWAS). To bank these blood lines, they are genetically modified through the introduction of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) to enable them to be frozen, thawed and proliferate indefinitely, known as "immortalization." This Blood paper describes the ability to take small volumes of EBV-transformed blood and create induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), as well as terminally differentiated somatic cells, that do not contain the EBV genetic modification.

"CDI's published methodology enables the unprecedented opportunity to take samples from disease cohort repositories worldwide, where blood has been collected and immortalized from patients with a wide variety of diseases and known genotypic and phenotypic backgrounds, and create iPSC-based human cellular models for disease research and drug discovery," said Nick Seay, CDI Chief Technology Officer and an author of the paper.  "Our ability to take samples of banked blood and create EBV-free iPSCs, and use that material to manufacture cells in the quantity, quality and purity required for research, is an important step forward in the study of human biology and understanding the promise of regenerative medicine.  CDI's research truly enables the study of human biology in a dish."

While prior research on these blood samples from healthy and diseased cohorts enabled the study of the patients' DNA, this new capability to create iPSCs free of EBV now enables researchers to study any cell type created from these known samples. "This is the next big step in leveraging the wealth of information in biological repositories worldwide to improve healthcare," said Seay.

More information on the paper, published online on June 27, 2011 (submitted January 21, 2011, and accepted June 12, 2011) can be found at http://bloodjournal.hematologylibrary.org/content/early/2011/06/24/blood-2011-01-332064.abstract.  

About Cellular Dynamics International, Inc.

Cellular Dynamics International, Inc. (CDI) is a leading developer of next-generation stem cell technologies for drug development and personalized medicine applications.  CDI harnesses the power of pluripotent stem cells and their ability to differentiate into any cell type for world-class drug development tools.  In addition, it is the leader in iPSC technology, the production of pluripotent stem cell lines from adult tissue.  CDI was founded in 2004 by Dr. James Thomson, a pioneer in human pluripotent stem cell research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  CDI's facilities are located in Madison, Wisconsin. See www.cellulardynamics.com.


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