Cellular Dynamics lands big contract with major pharmaceutical company

By Judy Newman, Wisconsin State Journal

CellDynamics_wsjCellular Dynamics International will supply its stem cell products to Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche in a contract that could bring more than $80 million to Madison-based CDI and play a role in the addition of more than a dozen jobs.

The agreement is “the largest single collaboration for CDI to date,” said chairman and CEO Kaz Hirao, in a written statement.

It calls for Roche to use CDI’s induced pluripotent stem cells — taken from a sample of blood, turned back into an embryonic state and then reprogrammed into virtually any cell type in the human body — to identify new drug candidates.

“Our partnerships with established leaders in the pharmaceutical industry, now including Roche, demonstrate that CDI products are increasingly becoming important tools for efficient drug discovery,” Hirao said.

If certain development milestones are met, the partnership could bring $83 million to CDI, the company said. No timeframe for the contract was disclosed. Read more …