Cellular Dynamics International Opens Facility In Novato, CA

The original iPS method demonstrated that ordinary skin cells could be reprogrammed to a stem cell state through the insertion of four genes. However, because the inserted genes are not an innate part of the cell’s DNA and are integrated directly into the genome via a viral vector, concerns have arisen over the potential risks associated with the insertion of foreign DNA into the cell’s genome. The iPS 2.0TM method employs vectors that do not integrate into the genome, thus allowing for the differentiation of cells genetically identical to the original starting material and alleviating safety concerns for use of iPS cells in a clinical setting. (© Cellular Dynamics International)

Cellular Dynamics International (CDI) has announced that the company is opening a facility in Novato, CA, leasing space from the Buck Institute for Research on Aging. This opening of a second CDI facility is in response to the company receiving a $16 million grant award from the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) to create and bank human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). CDI is a leading commercial producer of human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) lines and tissue cells for drug discovery, safety, stem cell banking and cellular therapeutics.

Tom Novak, Ph.D., vice president of strategic partnerships at CDI, said,  “Our location in the Buck Institute, with its focus on improving human ‘healthspan’ and researching age-related disease, is a great opportunity for us to interact and collaborate with the top academic scientists in the field. We see this as a great opportunity to draw top talent to CDI’s second location.”

CDI signed a lease for up to five-years in the Buck Institute’s partially CIRM-funded stem cell research building.  A portion of the space will be subleased to the Coriell Institute for Medical Research to construct a stem cell bank, an activity for which CDI is a subcontractor.

“The CIRM grants provide CDI with the funding to build, with our partner Coriell, the premier iPSC bank,” said Bob Palay, CDI Chief Executive Officer. “We are excited to be working with the Buck Institute, constructing our stem cell derivation laboratories as well as the stem cell bank within their world class facilities.”