Fate and BD advance broad availability of stem cells

Fate Therapeutics announces collaboration with BD to develop and commercialize induced pluripotent stem cell technology

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SAN DIEGO—Fate Therapeutics Inc. has forged a collaboration and license agreement with BD (Becton, Dickinson and Co.), a leading global medical technology company, through its BD Biosciences segment, for the joint development and worldwide commercialization of induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) tools and technologies.

Under the three-year collaboration, the two companies will aim to gear these tools and technology both to drug discovery and drug development efforts. Specifically, Fate and BD will co-develop certain stem cell products using Fate's award-winning iPSC technology platform, and BD will commercialize these stem cell products on a worldwide basis.  The goal of the collaboration is to provide life science researchers and the pharmaceutical community with reliable access to advanced iPSC tools and technologies for use in human disease research, drug discovery and development, and the manufacture of cell-based therapies.

"BD has a rich history in bringing innovative products to market, and in supporting those high-quality products on a worldwide basis with superior technical resources," says Paul Grayson, president and CEO of Fate Therapeutics. "Through our collaboration, Fate and BD will deliver on the critical need for a broadly accessible, industry-standard suite of iPSC tools and technologies for both life sciences research and commercial scale drug discovery and development.  Furthermore, this collaboration allows Fate additional resources and focus on our primary mission of discovering and developing modulators of stem cell function to treat unmet medical needs."

"We are excited to work with BD to fulfill a critical need for both academic and industry researchers to make, for the first time, iPSC technology available on a broad basis," adds Dr. Jessica Yingling, Fate's director of corporate communications. "This collaboration also allows Fate to continue doing what we do best, discovering and developing new therapeutics."

The terms of the agreement include exclusive licenses to certain pioneering inventions of Dr. Rudolf Jaenisch, founding member of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research and a scientific founder of Fate Therapeutics, and of Dr. Sheng Ding, associate professor at the Scripps Research Institute and a scientific founder of Fate Therapeutics. The collaboration includes a license to U.S. Patent No. 7,682,828 entitled "Methods for Reprogramming Somatic Cells", which Fate notes is believed to be the earliest art that describes broad methods and key agents to reprogram human somatic cells to a pluripotent state.  

Fate will receive an upfront payment, research funding, commercialization milestones and royalties on the sale by BD of co-developed products. Fate and BD expect that the products developed under the collaboration will serve as powerful tools for discovering new medical treatments and bridging the gap between the laboratory and the clinic.
"Under our collaboration with BD, we will continue to invest in, and advance, our leadership position across the spectrum of applications for iPSC technology," says Scott Wolchko, chief financial officer of Fate Therapeutics. "This partnership lends significant leverage and synergy to our therapeutic discovery platform as we deploy our iPSC technology to create large quantities of rare cell populations for the discovery of novel small molecules and biologics that can modulate the body's own adult stem cells to treat disease and restore health."

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