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First iPierian Patent for Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Technology Granted by United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., Jan. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- iPierian, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company focused on changing the paradigm of drug discovery and development through the application of cellular reprogramming, today announced that the Intellectual Property Office in the United Kingdom has issued a Notification of Grant to iPierian for UK patent No. GB2450603, its first patent related to induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technology.

The newly granted UK patent covers the generation of human iPS cells from human postnatal cells through any combination of forced expression of genes that includes the Oct3/4, Sox2 and Klf4 genes, so long as the combination does not include c-Myc.  The elimination of c-Myc, a potentially cancer causing gene, has been an early goal of researchers in the field as an important step so that iPSC technology may one day be employed as a therapeutic for the treatment of disease.  The resulting human iPS cells have in vitro long-term self-renewal ability and can differentiate into ectoderm, mesoderm and endoderm.

"This is the first patent protecting a fundamental method and utility of human iPSC technology that has been granted outside of Japan.  As such, this is an important milestone for both iPierian and for the field of human cellular reprogramming," said John P. Walker, chief executive officer of iPierian. "The UK patent grant is a first step in our strategy to broadly develop and prosecute our intellectual property throughout the world.  We will continue to pursue additional patents in the UK, US, Europe and other important jurisdictions for both the fundamental invention of human iPS cells and other technologies we are developing as a result of our research and development efforts.

"iPierian is dedicated to applying its technology for the benefit of patients as well as encouraging further research in the field of cellular reprogramming.  We look forward to continuing our model of collaboration with leading academic institutions as we believe this patent could be of great use to universities conducting cutting edge research in the United Kingdom," concluded Walker.

Following the Notification of Grant, the patent is typically announced in the UK Patents Journal and the company expects this publication to occur in February.  The grant has already been posted to the United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office website at

This patent is based upon the innovative research led by Dr. Kazuhiro Sakurada, former Head of Global Drug Discovery Regenerative Medicine Bayer Schering Pharma AG.  Under an agreement in 2008, the Sakurada patent estate related to iPSC technology was assigned to iZumi Bio, now iPierian.

About iPierian

iPierian is a South San Francisco-based biopharmaceutical company focused on the industrialization of induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technology with the mission of creating new therapeutics through cellular reprogramming and directed differentiation of patient cells. iPierian is backed by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Highland Capital Partners, MPM Capital and FinTech Global Capital. The initial focus of the company is in neurodegeneration, particularly spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and Parkinson's disease, metabolic disease and cardiovascular disease, where iPierian has a collaboration with The Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease and Dr. Deepak Srivastava, the institute's director and co-chair of the iPierian scientific advisory board (SAB). In 2009, the company announced a formal collaboration with the laboratory of Dr. Shinya Yamanaka of Kyoto University to develop and improve methods of deriving iPS cell lines in order to advance iPSC technology.  The company's SAB is comprised of leading researchers and authorities in the stem cell field including individuals from the University of California and Harvard University where the co-chair of the SAB, Dr. George Daley is an associate professor.

Because iPS cells are believed to be able to grow indefinitely in culture and to differentiate into many cell types, iPS cells have great potential for disease research, preclinical drug testing and cell-based therapy. iPierian's approach places the patient at the forefront of the drug discovery process in order to reduce drug development time and increase the probability of success for drug candidates. iPierian plans to use precise human disease models to find new molecular targets and develop proprietary small molecule or biologic therapeutics.

SOURCE iPierian, Inc.

SOURCE iPierian, Inc.
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