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Lonza and CSC to provide hPSC-Derived Cells and Media for Research Community

Lonza signed a worldwide, exclusive licensing and supply agreement with California Stem Cell (CSC) focused on the development of novel pluripotent stem cell products for research. The partnership will combine CSC’s methods for the scalable production of multiple cell types from human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) with Lonza’s expertise in primary cells and its marketing muscle.

This partnership will address the evolving needs of the research community by making broadly available high-purity, human pluripotent stem cell-derived cells and related media products worldwide. 

The firms envisage that the first products to be marketed under the agreement will include NeuroPlate™ hPSC-derived neural progenitors and MotorPlate™ hPSC-derived motor neuron progenitors. Launch of the products with associated culture media is anticipated during 2010. Additional products are also planned for launch this year, and Lonza will begin to manufacture and distribute CSC’s media portfolio.

The collaboration marks Lonza’s entry in the hPSC market and the CSC portfolio will complement its own Clonetics® and Poietics® brands of primary stem cells and optimized media. “California Stem Cell is one of the few companies that is able to produce cells derived from human pluripotent stem cells in the quantities needed to support our customers’ research programs worldwide,” remarks Heun van der Heide, Lonza’s head of research solutions.

Lonza is one of the world’s leading suppliers to the pharmaceutical, healthcare and life science industries. Its products and services span its customers’ needs from research to final product manufacture. Lonza is the global leader in the production and support of active pharmaceutical ingredients both chemically as well as biotechnologically. Lonza has strong capabilities in large and small molecules, peptides, amino acids and niche bio-products which play an important role in the development of novel medicines and healthcare products. Lonza is a leader in cell-based research, endotoxin detection and cell therapy manufacturing. Lonza is also a leading provider of value chemical and biotech ingredients to the nutrition, hygiene, preservation, agro and personal care markets. Lonza is headquartered in Basel, Switzerland;  listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange and in 2009; Lonza had sales of CHF 2.690 B.

California Stem Cell (CSC) is a privately held company focused on the manufacturing of high-purity human cells for therapeutic development and clinical application. Since its founding in 2005, CSC has developed proprietary methods for scalable production of human motor neurons, neuronal progenitors, cardiac muscle and sino-atrial node cells, at high purity, from hESCs. We can generate virtually unlimited quantities of differentiated human cells in an FDA-compliant manner that renders these populations clinically relevant. CSC is currently in the pre-clinical development stage of stem cell based therapies for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease), spinal muscular atrophy (NYSE:SMA), spinal cord injury (NYSE:SCI) and coronary heart disease. CSC also markets our high-purity human cells in platforms suitable for high throughput and high content screening of conventional drug candidates using human cell substrates, predictive toxicity of conventional drugs using human cell substrates, and development of experimental research tools.