iZumi Bio and Kyoto University Partner To Exchange Pluripotent Stem Cells

Posted Apr 15, 2009

iZumi Bio is a biotechnology company that focuses on cellular reprogramming and stem cell research. iZumi is based in the Bay Area of California and started in 2007 with backing from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers along with Highland Capital Partners. Now the company has signed an agreement with Kyoto University?s Center for iPS Cell Research and Application (CIRA). CIRA will exchange part of their pluripotent stem cell lines with iZumi as part of the agreement. iZumi and CIRA will then determine which methods of cell lines are appropriate for drug screening and development.

Pluripotent stem cells tend to be embryonic which is different from adult stem cells. Inducing embryonic stem cells to perform certain functions is crucial for the advancement of stem cell research as a whole, but anti-abortion activists believes that this is a violation of human life. Induced pluripotent stem cells are made from adult stem cells, but have embryonic pluripotent characteristics so this would enable researchers to further conduct studies while avoiding ethical issues with anti-abortionists.

?The partnership between these two leading organizations is a critical step in furthering this research and turning stem cell research into therapeutic realities sooner,? stated former Vice President and Kleiner Perkins partner Al Gore.

[via Biz Times]