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Cellular Dynamics Announces Launch of iCell(R) DopaNeurons, Neural Floor Plate-Derived Midbrain Dopaminergic Neurons

MADISON, Wis., April 30, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Cellular Dynamics International, Inc. (CDI) (Nasdaq:ICEL) today announced the launch of iCell® DopaNeurons, the company's neural floor plate-derived midbrain dopaminergic neurons generated from human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs).

Key points:

  • Dopaminergic neurons, specifically those located in the floor plate-derived midbrain, are implicated in neurological disorders such as Parkinson's disease and schizophrenia; thus iCell DopaNeurons provide a highly relevant in vitro model to investigate these types of pathologies.
  • Midbrain dopaminergic neurons develop from an early developmental stage of the brain called the floor plate. Other commercially available iPSC-derived dopaminergic neurons do not follow this developmental path, but instead are derived from neural stem cells. Only midbrain dopaminergic neurons have been shown to be engraftable in animals (1), indicating the promise for the development of cell-based therapies.
  • In addition to iCell DopaNeurons, CDI's MyCell® process can be applied to develop and manufacture cells from donors with dopaminergic neuron-based diseases.
  • CDI exclusively licensed the technology, invented by Lorenz Studer, M.D., and his laboratory team at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, to create floor-plate-derived midbrain dopaminergic neurons for use in research.

Quotes:

Lorenz Studer, M.D., director, Center for Stem Cell Biology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, said, "We are pleased that Cellular Dynamics has licensed our technology to create dopaminergic neurons for research use that are specific to the substantia nigra, the small area of the brain implicated in Parkinson's disease. Research in our laboratory has shown that iPSC-derived dopaminergic neurons that follow the midbrain dopaminergic developmental pathway are able to engraft in animal models for Parkinson's disease. We're excited that CDI will make these cells widely available for research purposes, enabling researchers to better understand dopaminergic neuron-based diseases and work toward possible patient therapies."

Chris Parker, chief commercial officer of CDI, said, "Despite decades of effort and resources applied by pharmaceutical companies to treat diseases such as Parkinson's, there are no cures available. iCell DopaNeurons now offer a human in vitro system that we believe more closely reflects human biology than other model systems available today. CDI's manufacturing capabilities enable these specialized neurons to be developed at a high purity and quantity with rigorous quality control so that researchers studying dopaminergic diseases have a stable supply source of a relevant in vitro model."

(1) Nature. 2011 Nov 6;480(7378):547-51. doi: 10.1038/nature10648.

About Cellular Dynamics International, Inc.

Cellular Dynamics International, Inc. (CDI) is a leading developer and manufacturer of fully functioning human cells in industrial quantities to precise specifications. CDI's proprietary iCell Operating System (iCell O/S) includes true human cells in multiple cell types (iCell products), human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and custom iPSCs and iCell products (MyCell Products). CDI's iCell O/S products provide standardized, easy-to-use, cost-effective access to the human cell, the smallest fully functioning operating unit of human biology. Customers use our iCell O/S products, among other purposes, for drug discovery and screening; to test the safety and efficacy of their small molecule and biologic drug candidates; for stem cell banking; and in the research and development of cellular therapeutics. CDI was founded in 2004 by Dr. James Thomson, a pioneer in human pluripotent stem cell research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. CDI's facilities are located in Madison, Wisconsin, with a second facility in Novato, California. See www.cellulardynamics.com.

Forward-looking Statements

To the extent that statements contained in this press release are not descriptions of historical facts regarding Cellular Dynamics International, Inc., including statements regarding our products, they are forward-looking statements reflecting the current beliefs and expectations of management made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as "may," "will," "believe," "expect," "anticipate," "estimate," "intend," and similar expressions (as well as other words or expressions referencing future events, conditions or circumstances) are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements in this release involve substantial risks and uncertainties that could cause our product development efforts, actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Cellular Dynamics undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements. For a further description of the risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ from those expressed in these forward-looking statements, as well as risks relating to the business of the Company in general, see Cellular Dynamic's annual report on Form 10-K/A filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on March 11, 2013, which risks are incorporated herein by reference, and as may be described from time to time in Cellular Dynamics' subsequent SEC filings.

CONTACT: Media: Joleen Rau Senior Director, Marketing & Communications Cellular Dynamics International, Inc. 608 310-5142 jrau@cellulardynamics.com Robert E. Flamm, Ph.D. Russo Partners LLC (212) 845-4226 robert.flamm@russopartnersllc.com Investor Relations: Gitanjali Jain Ogawa The Trout Group, LLC (646) 378-2949 gogawa@troutgroup.comSource:Cellular Dynamics International, Inc.