ReproCELL to Enter Collaborative R&D on Human iPS Cell Derived Hepatocytes

By Reprocell Inc., PRNE
Monday, January 3, 2011

YOKOHAMA, Japan, January 4, 2011 - ReproCELL, Inc. (CEO: Chikafumi Yokoyama PhD) announces today
that the company will enter a collaborative R&D agreement with the National
Institute of Biomedical Innovation (NIBIO; Director General: Koichi
; Osaka, Japan), which could offer new hepatocyte derived from human
iPS (induced pluripotent stem) cells used for an effective in-vitro drug
screening for hepatic toxicity and liver metabolism.

ReproCELL is a world-leading pioneer in commercializing human
pluripotent stem cells as an effective tool for drug discovery and
development. The company has successfully launched iPS cell derived
cardiomyocytes in April 2009 for cardiac toxicity testing, followed by the
launch of iPS cell derived neuronal cells in October 2010 for efficacy
screening of neuroactive compounds. The prospective new offering of
hepatocytes will address an area of highest demand worldwide, and will be the
third line of products and services to be introduced by the company.

Under the agreement, ReproCELL will utilize a technology
developed by NIBIO that uses an improved adenovirus vector to induce the
differentiation of human iPS cells into matured hepatocytes with high
efficiency. Together with NIBIO, the company will aim to bring the products
to the market swiftly within the next one and half years.

ReproCELL's Representative Director and CEO, Chikafumi Yokoyama
PhD commented, "iPS cell-derived hepatocytes made using this method show the
highest level of quality ever seen, expressing the same qualities as that of
primary human hepatocytes currently used by the pharmaceutical industry,
including drug metabolizing enzyme activity. We can expect to see its early
adoption for drug toxicity and pharmacokinetic studies."

Aspects of NIBIO's technology on the induction of iPS
cell-derived hepatocyte differentiation can be found in the following

"Efficient Generation of Hepatoblasts From Human ES Cells and iPS
Cells by Transient Overexpression of Homeobox Gene HEX." Inamura M, Kawabata
K, Takayama K, Tashiro K, Sakurai F, Katayama K, Toyoda M, Akutsu H, Miyagawa
Y, Okita H, Kiyokawa N, Umezawa A, Hayakawa T, Furue MK, Mizuguchi H. Mol
Ther. 2010 Nov 23. [Epub ahead of print], PMID: 21102561

Representative: Chikafumi Yokoyama PhD, Representative Director and CEO

Contact: , +81-(0)45-475-3887

Representative: Chikafumi Yokoyama PhD, Representative Director and CEO, Contact: info_repro at , +81-(0)45-475-3887

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