International Stem Cell Corp., a biotech company developing novel stem cell-based therapies, announced this morning that it has entered into a twelve-month research agreement with Rohto Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., a global Japanese pharmaceutical company that develops new technology for the medical and cosmetics markets with approximately $1.3 billion in consolidated annual sales. Founded in 1899, Rohto today has products available in more than 150 countries.
Rohto has agreed to evaluate stem cell-derived human cells owned and provided by ISCO in a number of pre-clinical animal models. If the research is successful and the parties agree on remaining terms, it is anticipated that a definitive license agreement will be signed at the end of this research agreement. Certain key terms of such a license agreement, including the target disease areas and intellectual property rights, have already been defined in the research agreement.
“We are delighted to have such an outstanding company work with us, and we believe that the potential for this agreement is significant,” stated Dr. Simon Craw, EVP of Business Development at ISCO. “Under the terms of the agreement Rohto will begin working with our cells immediately and if the program is successful we may move to the next stage, signing a definitive license agreement. Such an agreement would significantly enhance our standing in a number of ways. Firstly, having diligently built up our scientific strength and patent portfolio over the last few years, it would both validate our research as well as our ability to generate licensing revenue from our proprietary platform. Secondly, by expanding the use of our technology into new areas beyond that which we can address alone, it would add value to the Company.”
Under the agreement ISCO will provide a number of differentiated human cells derived from the company’s collection of pluripotent human stem cells known as UniStemCell™. The Company has a track record of successfully demonstrating that human cells derived from UniStemCell™ are effective in animal models of various diseases and have the potential to be used as a basis for developing human therapies. ISCO has adopted this approach successfully with a number of academic collaborators in the past.
For more information on International Stem Cell Corp., please visit www.internationalstemcell.com
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