Invitrogen Licenses Geron Intellectual Property for Development of Research Tools


Invitrogen Corporation and Geron Corporation announced that Invitrogen has licensed Geron intellectual property related to the growth of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs).

The agreement provides Invitrogen with a non-exclusive license under Geron's patents to develop, manufacture and sell media, additives and reagents for use by hESC researchers subject to certain commercial use restrictions. In addition, the agreement enables Invitrogen to provide research-use-only sublicenses for the products to its customers. Geron will receive license payments and royalties on products developed under the agreement. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"Availability of new products from Invitrogen for the growth of hESCs will benefit everyone in the field of hESC research," said David J. Earp, J.D., Ph.D., Geron's Chief Patent Counsel and Senior Vice President of Business Development. "We are pleased to grant licenses so that Invitrogen can bring such products to market."

The license granted to Invitrogen includes rights under Geron's patents covering the growth of hESCs in the absence of feeder cells, as well as additional patents covering specific media formulations for such feeder-free growth. Conventionally, undifferentiated hESCs have been grown in direct contact with mouse feeder cells or in media conditioned by such feeder cells. Geron scientists have developed techniques for growing hESCs in defined conditions without the use of feeder cells. The use of fully defined, feeder-free culture methods increases scalability and reproducibility of hESC culture and reduces the risk of contamination of the hESC populations by infectious agents from the feeder cells or other animal-sourced culture components. Such methods are likely to be required for commercial manufacture of hESCs for producing human cell therapeutics.

"Invitrogen is committed to bringing stem cell scientists novel solutions to their needs for isolating, characterizing, expanding and differentiating stem cells," said Joydeep Goswami, Ph.D., M.B.A., Invitrogen's Vice President of Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine. "This license from Geron provides a great platform for creating chemically defined, animal-origin-free hESC culture media that provide a better, more reproducible system for scientists to grow cells. Additionally, it will set the stage for quickly, safely and economically conducting the research and efficiently moving products through development and into the clinic."

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