Jamie Thompson, who developed the first stem cell line in 1998 at the University of Wisconsin, published independent research on the creation of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPS cells) from human skin cells about two months later than Shinya Yamanaka who was just awarded the Nobel prize for his iPS results. Thomson, professor of Cell and Regenerative Biology at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine, has long been an advocate for the use of iPS cells to study and test therapies in various chronic diseases due to the distinct advantage these cells offer. If iPS cells are produced from the adult cells of someone with Parkinson's disease, the cells will in all probability include the disease, allowing it, and therapies designed to fight it, to be studied in vitro. The same is true of other dibilitating diseases.
Now the NIH has awarded Cellular Dynamics International (CDUI), a private company founded by Jamie Thomson, a contract to provide human iPS cell lines and terminally differentiated tissue cells from normal or specified patient populations. The contract is worth up to $7.0 million for the three year life of the agreement.
"This contract enables NIH researchers to easily access our human iPS cell-derived cells and accelerate the pace of their research," said Chris Parker, Chief Commercial Officer of CDI. "Scientists can now concentrate on their experiments and the data they generate instead of trying to manufacture a consistent and pure supply of human cells"
Read further in the Cellular Dynamics International announcement.