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Sigma-Aldrich Enters Distribution Agreement With Stemgent, Inc. to Offer Lentivirus-Based Gene Delivery Products for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research
Date:11/10/2009

ST. LOUIS, Nov. 10 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Sigma-Aldrich® (Nasdaq: SIAL) today announced that it has entered into an exclusive worldwide distribution agreement with Stemgent, Inc. to offer Stemgent's portfolio of lentivirus-based delivery systems for the generation of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. This agreement expands Sigma-Aldrich's leading portfolio of advanced stem cell research technologies, available through the Company's web portal at http://www.sigma-aldrich.com/stemcell.

"Induced pluripotent stem cells have emerged as immensely useful tools for the modeling of human diseases, research and development of therapeutics, regenerative medicine and the development of personalized cell replacement therapies," commented Dr. David Smoller, Ph.D, President of Sigma-Aldrich's Research Biotech business unit. "Stemgent has made great strides developing lentivirus-based gene delivery vectors, and Sigma-Aldrich has made it a priority to provide products and services for the iPS cell research community."

Through Sigma-Aldrich's worldwide market and customer service infrastructure, Stemgent can access a wider audience for its sophisticated tools. The reprogramming technologies offered under the terms of the agreement involve proprietary viral vectors from Stemgent, lentivirus technology from Sigma-Aldrich and Dox Inducible expression from TET Systems. These technologies have been fully validated in Stemgent's laboratories and are expected to allow researchers to efficiently reprogram mouse and human cells into iPS cells, enabling researchers to investigate and address the challenges facing the field of regenerative medicine.

"We are excited to enter into a partnership with Sigma-Aldrich," added Stemgent CEO Ian Ratcliffe. "We believe that the lentivirus-based delivery of reprogramming factors remains the 'gold standard' for iPS cell generation for many of the field's leaders. The global reach of Sigma-Aldrich's distribution network and the deep technical skills of their sales and support staff are expected to significantly accelerate the adoption of this ground-breaking technology."

Sigma-Aldrich's agreement with Stemgent complements Sigma-Aldrich's over 1,100 products and services that support the entire cycle of stem cell research, including reprogramming, isolation, characterization, expansion, differentiation, functional profiling and in-vitro/in-vivo tracking. Sigma-Aldrich is committed to remaining a leading provider of stem cell research tools and services for iPS cell (http://www.sigma-aldrich.com/ipsc), embryonic stem cell and cell reprogramming research.

About Sigma-Aldrich: Sigma-Aldrich is a leading Life Science and High Technology company. Its biochemical and organic chemical products and kits are used in scientific research, including genomic and proteomic research, biotechnology, pharmaceutical development and as key components in pharmaceutical, diagnostic and other high technology manufacturing. The Company has customers in life science companies, university and government institutions, hospitals, and in industry. Over one million scientists and technologists use its products. Sigma-Aldrich operates in 38 countries and has 7,800 employees providing excellent service worldwide. Sigma-Aldrich is committed to Accelerating Customer Success through Innovation and Leadership in Life Science, High Technology and Service. For more information about Sigma-Aldrich, please visit its award-winning Web site at http://www.sigma-aldrich.com.

About Stemgent, Inc.: Stemgent advances stem cell science by providing proprietary reagents and tools developed by some of the world's leading stem cell scientists. Stemgent's product offering has been specifically optimized for and screened against stem cells, and includes small molecules for pluripotency, self-renewal, and differentiation, viral-delivered transcription factors, matrices, cell lines, cytokines, antibodies, transfection reagents, and more. This unique product mix is designed to serve researchers who study stem cell biology and regenerative medicine, and those who use cells derived from stem cells as tools to advance their understanding of major diseases. With dual headquarters in Boston, MA, and San Diego, CA, Stemgent is well positioned to serve these major research markets. For more information, please visit http://www.stemgent.com.

Cautionary Statement: This release contains forward-looking statements relating to future performance, goals, strategic actions and initiatives and similar intentions and beliefs and other statements regarding the Companies' expectations, goals, beliefs, intentions and the like, which involve assumptions regarding the Companies' operations and conditions in the markets the Companies serve. The Companies do not undertake any obligation to update these forward-looking statements.

Sigma-Aldrich is a registered trademark of Sigma-Aldrich Biotechnology L.P. and Sigma-Aldrich Co.

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