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Launching a New Kit for iPS cell Generation to the Market Outside of Japan:

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DNAVEC Corporation Changes Company Name to ID Pharma Co., Ltd.

The trial is planned in a total of three sites in the UK and East Africa. This start of the trial was reported by newspapers, Yomiuri Shimbun and Zaikei Shimbun on April 2, Nikkei and Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun on April 3, and was also broadcast in NHK television news program on April 2.

A clinical study on gene therapy for the treatment of retinitis pigmentosa was started today at Kyushu University Hospital with an administration of therapeutic vector to the first patient. The simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) vector used in this clinical study is a lentivirus vector originally developed by DNAVEC. This is the first ever case of gene therapy employing a lentivirus vector in Japan. This clinical study is the fruit of collaborative research between DNAVEC and Professor Tatsuro Ishibashi, Assistant Professor Yasuhiro Ikeda and others of the Department of Ophthalmology of Kyushu University. Retinitis pigmentosa is an intractable, hereditary eye disease that develops in about one in 5,000 and causes gradual decline of eyesight that leads to complete blindness. At present, there is no treatment with clear efficacy against the disease and therefore expectations are high for the outcome of this clinical study.
Kyodo News reported in an article titled "First gene therapy for serious eye disease to start next spring at Kyushu University Hospital," that Professor Tatsuro Ishibashi of Kyushu University Hospital will conduct a clinical study of gene therapy for patients with retinitis pigmentosa, an eye disease for which no effective treatment is available. The study will use DNAVEC's SIV vector as the the carrier of the gene of a protein that protects the visual cells. By introducing the gene into the patient's retina using DNAVEC's SIV vector, the therapy is expected to prevent the loss of photoreceptor cells and slow down the loss of vision.
[2012/07/10] NIHON KEIZAI SHIMBUN published an article titled "Cells toprevent obecity, made from iPS," reporting that DNAVEC, in collaboration with the National Center for Global Health and Medicine, had succeeded in generating brown adipocytes (brown fat cells) from iPS cells produced with Sendai virus vector. These cells will be usefull in the development of new diet methods as well as obecity drugs.
The United States issued the final decision to grant the patent titled "PARAMYXOVIRUS VECTOR ENCODING ANGIOGENIC GENE AND UTILIZATION THEREOF" (Application No. US13/049011). The patent relates to "the method to inject paramyxovirus vector, such as Sendai virus vector of the F-gene deletion type, carrying the gene encoding the angiogenic factor, FGF2, to the muscles of ischemic limbs with clinically acceptable medium, and the method to treat ischemic tissues," and widely covers DNAVEC's rights associated with DVC1-0101, which DNAVEC is developing as a drug for limb ischemia.
[2012/02/17] DNAVEC was awarded with the Saito Prize at the Second Bio Business Award JAPAN ceremony held at the Business Innovation Center Osaka (Osaka Sangyo Sozo Kan) in Osaka City on February 17, 2012 for DNAVEC's technologiy used in the iPS cell generation kit (Award Title: Technology that allows the manipulation of genetic information from outside the nuclei (CytoTuneTM) and its application in drug discovery). In the ceremony, DNAVEC presented its Sendai virus vector-based technology for the induction of cellular differentiation in addition to the excellent performance of the iPS cell generation kit, which is currently distributed through Medical & Biological Laboratories Co., Ltd. in Japan and through Life Technologies Corporation (under the Invitrogen brand) overseas.
[2011/10/14] DNAVEC and the Research Institute, National Center for Global Health and Medicine (Tokyo, Japan) presented the results of research collaboration in the 6th Annual Frontiers of Clinical Investigation Symposium held in La Jolla, California, USA on October 13-15, 2011. In the presentation, the research team reported that vascular endothelial cells (VECs) derived from iPS cells generated by use of DNAVEC's Sendai virus vector (SeV-iPS) maintained their suppressive effect on the growth of vascular smooth muscle cells after many repeated passages in culture. In contrast, such suppressive effect was lost in commercially available primary VECs. SeV-iPS derived VECs are expected to be usuful for the evaluaton of drug candidates in pharmaceutical development.
[2011/10/13] NIHON KEIZAI SHIMBUN published an article titled "Japanese venture business and others successful in experiments to repair a gene causing a hereditary disease," reporting that a paper had been published in the journal Nature (electric publication), in which DNAVEC, in collaboration with the University of Cambridge (UK) and other institutions, succeeded in experiments to inhibit the activity of disease causing enzyme by generating iPS cells from a patient of α1-antitrypsin deficiency, correcting the disease-causing genetic mutation in these iPS cells, then inducing the repaired iPS cells into normal liver cells, and finally transplanting the newly generated normal cells to the liver of mice. Articles on the paper were also run by NIKKEI SANGYO SHIMBUN, MAINICHI SHINBUN, YOMIURI SHIMBUN, and ASAHI SHIMBUN issued on the same day.
NIHON KEIZAI SHIMBUN published an article titled "AIDS vaccine development: Japanese bioventure collaborating with an international organization expects a clinical trial in 2013," reporting that DNAVEC had licensed a prophylactic AIDS vaccine to International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI), and IAVI plans to apply to US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2012 for a clinical trial which is expected to start in 2013.
[2011/08/02] NIHON KEIZAI SHIMBUN, print and electronic editions, published an article titled "Generation of safe iPS cells, DNAVEC improves efficiency," reporting that DNAVEC, in collaboration with the Institute of Biomedical Research and Innovation (IBRI), succeeded to generate iPS cells from hematopoietic stem cells derived from umbilical cord blood and that the achievement is to be published in the journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS). The article reported that the use a new temperature sensitive Sendai virus vector enhanced the efficiency of iPS cell generation, thus reducing the volume of umbilical cord blood required, and that the generated iPS cells had greater safety because none of the introduced genes or Sendai virus vector remained in these cells. In addition to reporting the generation of iPS cells, the PNAS publication will also report that DNAVEC successfully eliminated the introduced genes and the vector completely from the iPS cells by use of the new temperature sensitive Sendai virus vector.
[2011/06/22] NIHON KEIZAI SHIMBUN published an article titled “Cancer therapy technology to be licensed,” reporting that DNAVEC was licensing out its “BioKnife(TM)” technology to the Chinese pharmaceutical company, EPS China Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of EPS Co., Ltd., for the development of drugs for cancer therapy and would receive a one-time license fee and royalties according to the development stages.
[2011/06/15] During the 9th Annual Meeting of the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR, Toronto, Canada, June 15 - 18, 2011), Life Technologies Corporation, DNAVEC's distributor for the overseas sales of the CytoTune(TM) iPS Reprogramming Kit, held a sales promotion campain for the Kit. The campaign included a workshop titled “Sendai Reprogramming Seminar” in which the advantages of using the Kit to generate iPS cells were presented along with instructions for how to use the Kit. The Seminar turned out to be very popular, attracting a large audience. DNAVEC will continue actively to promote overseas sales of the CytoTune(TM) iPS Reprogramming Kit for research use through Life Technologies.
The Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare released in its home page the “Report of the completion of gene therapy clinical research” regarding the “Clinical research for angiogenic gene therapy for the treatment of critical limb ischemia (arteriosclerosis obliterans and Buerger's disease) using a non-transmissible type recombinant Sendai virus vector carrying the angiogenesis factor gene, fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF2)” as part of the “Appendix 6” to the “63rd Committee on Scientific Technology of Health Sciences Council, Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare” The clinical research had been conducted by Kyushu University Hospital using the FGF-2 gene-carrying Sendai virus vector developed by DNAVEC.
NIHON KEIZAI SHIMBUN published an article titled "DNAVEC to sell iPS cell generation kits overseas," reporting that on April 29 DNAVEC was starting the overseas sales of its iPS cell generation kit through the US distributor Life Technologies Corporation.
NIHON KEIZAI SHIMBUN published an article titled "DNAVEC to develop TB vaccine in China," reporting that DNAVEC had concluded an agreement with Shanghai Haigui Biosciences Co., Ltd and Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center on the joint development of novel tuberculosis vaccines.
[2011/03/02] Sankei Shimbun carried an article titled "Nanotech DDS carries hopes" as the fourth installment of the series "The Frontline of Drug Discovery : Part 5 Leaping Forward - Prescription for Tomorrow," in which it was reported that DNAVEC aims to commercialize products including prophylactic HIV (AIDS) vaccine utilizing Sendai virus, which is known to be harmless to humans.
NIHON KEIZAI SHIMBUN published an article titled "iPS cells: new technologies by VB, avoid tumor formation," reporting DNAVEC's technology as one of the new methods developed to generate iPS cells that are less prone to form tumors. The article introduced advantages of using DNAVEC's iPS cell generation technology utilizing Sendai virus vector, reporting that the vector replicates outside cell nuclei and thus does not cause damage to chromosome, and that the technology allows to get rid of the introduced genes and vectors from iPS cells by incubating the cells at 37~38ºC.
YOMIURI SHIMBUN published an article titled "Clinical trial of Japan's first AIDS prophylactic vaccine in the US in 2012," reporting that IAVI (International AIDS Vaccine Initiative) plans to initiate a clinical trial of an AIDS vaccine using DNAVEC's Sendai virus vaccine technology in the United States in 2012.
[2010/12/31] NIHON KEIZAI SHIMBUN published an article titled "Watchful commercialization of iPS cells: VB and others target regenerative medicine; related areas first," listing DNAVEC Corporation as one of the major companies involved in the iPS cell related business and introduced DNAVEC's commercialization of the iPS cell generation kit.
NIHON KEIZAI SHIMBUN published an article titled "DNAVEC to develop gene therapeutics for intractable lung disease in collaboration with UK group," reporting that DNAVEC had concluded an agreement with the UK Cystic Fibrosis Gene Therapy Consortium on the joint development of therapeutics for "cystic fibrosis," an intractable genetic disease of the lung, aiming at a clinical trial in patients in the UK within 4~5 years.
[2010/11/10] NIHON KEIZAI SHINBUN reported DNAVEC’s alliance with Beijing SoloBio Gene Technology Company Ltd. (Beijing, P.R.China) in a development of gene therapeutics for retinitis pigmentosa.
[2010/07/02] NIHON KEIZAI SHIMBUN published an article titled “ iPS cells from a tiny drop of blood” reporting that Dr. Keiichi Fukuda, Professor of Keio University School of Medicine, successfully generated iPS cells from a very small amount of blood utilizing DNAVEC’s Sendai virus as a gene transfer vehicle. The work has been published in “Cell Stem Cell” on-line magazine.
[2010/06/28] International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) announced that the organization will receive a total amount of US$10 million from Japanese government for the next 5 years to support the development of an AIDS vaccine based on Sendai virus vector.
[2010/06/28] METI-Kanto (Kanto Bureau of Economy, Trade and Industry)’s on line magazine “ Itto Jukken” published an article titled “ iPS cell preparation vector kit to hit the market, based on an original vector technology,” that introduced DNAVEC’s CytoTune™-iPS kit.
[2010/06/16] NIHON KEIZAI SHINBUN in an article titled “DNAVEC ready to sell iPS cell preparing kit; no damage to genes,” and NIKKEI SANGYO SHINBUN in an article titled "iPS cell preparation vector kit; 250,000 yen per kit; DNAVEC, high safety" reported that DNAVEC had started selling an iPS cell preparation vector kit – CytoTuneTM-iPS as a research reagent intended for research laboratories and institutions in Japan.
[2010/06/15] DNAVEC launched the iPS cell preparation Senai virus vector kit CytoTune™-iPS.
[2010/03/18] Company’s headquarters & laboratories moved and consolidated in Techno Park Oho.
[2010/01/06] YOMIURI SHIMBUN reported in an article titled “Sendai virus, which was discovered by former president of Tohoku University Ishida who passed away last month, becomes a useful tool for iPS cell preparation" that DNAVEC is about to launch a new iPS cell preparation kit that is intended for research laboratories and utilizes DNAVEC’s vector technologies built on Sendai virus discovered by the late Dr. Ishida.
[2009/11/25] NIKKEI SANGYO SHINBUN reported in an article titled "iPS cells; ways to prevent cancerous transformation" that DNAVEC developed vector technologies for iPS cell preparation that allow generation of iPS cells without causing damage to the chromosomes of human somatic cells, and that the company is ready to sell the vectors to research laboratories and institutions starting from as early as December. The article also reported the Harvard University Study focusing on the balance of gene expression during the process of iPS cells turning cancerous and the technology developed by Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. that allows prediction of cancerous transformation of iPS cells by use of luminescence gene.
[2009/10/08] NIHON KEIZAI SHIMBUN reported in an article titled “Release of iPS cell preparation kit” that DNAVEC will initiate sales of a recombinant vector kit for iPS cell generation.
[2009/10/06] MAINICHI SHIMBUN reported in an article titled “iPS cell production, greater safety achieved” that mentioned DNAVEC’s new technology for the generation of iPS cells.
[2009/09/30] ASAHI SHIMBUN published an article titled “Reducing the risk of creating tumors, an efficient iPS induction method”, NIKKEI SANGYO SHIMBUN also published an article titled “DNAVEC, generation of iPS cells with greater safety by Sendai virus,” on DNAVEC’s new technology for iPS cell generation.
[2009/09/30] NIKKEI BUSINESS PUBLICATIONS, Inc. presented a detailed description of DNAVEC’s iPS cell generation technology in an online article titled “Using Sendai virus, DNAVEC develops a technology to generate iPS cells with no chromosomal insertions, opens a path to standardization and applications in regenerative medicine, takes the safety issues of iPS cells onto a second stage.”
[2009/04/13] WEEKLY DIAMONDD (Issue of April 18, 2009) published a special article entitled “Nippon’s invention power” that reported DNAVEC was selected as one of the seven biotech companies among the “50 venture companies chosen by the connosseurs”.
[2009/04/09] NIHON KEIZAI SHIMBUN and NIKKEI SANGYO SHIMBUN reported DNAVEC’s alliance with West China Medical School West China Hospital of Sichuan University (Chengdu, Sichuan prefecture, P.R.China) in the development of gene therapeutics for glaucoma.
[2009/03/17] NIKKEI BIOTECH reported in an article titled “ Kyushu University presents a progress report on the gene therapy for critical limb ischemia using Sendai virus vector” that nine out of 15 patients enrolled by the end of January 2009 have been administered with Sendai virus vector carrying human fibroblast growth factor 2 gene (SeV/dF-FGF2) in the clinical research currently underway at Kyushu University. Amelioration of rest pain was observed in all six patients who received the drug at therapeutic doses where some degree of efficacy was anticipated.
[2008/09/12] NIKKEI SANGYO SHIMBUN reported that DNAVEC had launched collaboration with Keiichi Fukuda, Professor of School of Medicine of Keio University in the development of gene therapy for intractable Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH).
[2008/08/06] ASAHI SHIMBUN reported an interview with Richard Feachem, Executive Director of Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM), expressed in his expectations of ongoing collaboration in the development of AIDS vaccine between DNAVEC and the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI), the world largest NGO of the kind.
[2008/05/30] NIKKAN KOGYO SHIMBUN reported that DNAVEC had reached an agreement with National Vaccine & Serum Institute of China in the development of Herpes vaccine.
[2008/04/03] NIKKEI SANGYO SHIMBUN reported in an article titled “Japanese venture DNAVEC will develop avian flu vaccine using gene vector in collaboration with Chinese Academy of Science” that DNAVEC and Chinese Academy of Sciences Institute of Microbiology reached an agreement on the collaborative development of Avian Influenza vaccine.
[2008/01/31] Updated “Job Opportunities,” announcing positions available for researchers and research technicians.
[2008/01/31] Renewed the Japanese home page.
[2007/11/05] NIHON KEIZAI SHIMBUN reported an interview with Seth F. Berkley, President and CEO of International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI), titled “Bringing a Japanese mucosal AIDS vaccine to clinical trials.” IAVI is one of our partners in the development of AIDS vaccines.
[2007/10/16] Received the Japan Bioindustry Association Award of the Japan Bio-venture Awards.
[2007/10/09] NIKKEI SANGYO SHIMBUN published an article on the clinical development of DNAVEC’s AIDS vaccine in the United States.
[2007/08/12] NIHON KEIZAI SHIMBUN published a SCIENCE section article titled “Realizing AIDS Eradication” on DNAVEC’s collaboration with the University of Tokyo and the National Institute of Infectious Diseases of Japan in the development of AIDS vaccines.
[2007/07/07] YOMIURI SHIMBUN reported DNAVEC’s alliance with the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI), the largest organization of this kind and supported by donations from charity organizations such as Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, in the development of a Japan-made AIDS vaccine.
[2007/05/25] NIKKAN KOGYO SHIMBUN reported that DNAVEC agreed to transfer technologies to SiBiono GeneTech Co.,Ltd. (Shenzhen, Guangdong prefecture P.R.China) for the development of world’s first anti-AIDS virus (HIV) gene therapy.
[2007/02/26] NIKKEI SANGYO SHIMBUN reported in a special section devoted to Eisai’s anti-Alzheimer’s disease drugs, DNAVEC-Eisai alliance in the development of a gene vaccine for Alzheimer’s disease using amyloid β gene.
[2006/11/29] JOYO SHIMBUN carried “Frontiers in Gene Therapy Part 2”.
[2006/11/22] JOYO SHIMBUN carried part one of the two-part interview with Dr. Mamoru Hasegawa, President and CEO of DNAVEC, titled ”Frontiers in Gene Therapy Part 1” as a part of the interview series “The Life of Presidents, 100 Venture Companies in Tsukuba.” In the interview, Dr. Hasegawa talked about the history and ongoing business of DNAVEC.
[2006/10/28] NIHON KEIZAI SHIMBUN(THE NIKKEI), JOYO SHIMBUN and IBARAKI SHIMBUN reported that DNAVEC was the recipient of the Second Tsukuba Venture Award, which recognizes venture companies that developed innovative and excellent technologies and business models.
[2006/08/28] NIKKEI BIOTECH reported the custom-made antibody preparation service of Medical & Biological Laboratories Co., Ltd., which utilizes DNAVEC’s Sendai virus vector technologies.
[2006/07/25] NIKKEI SANGYO SHIMBUN reported DNAVEC-Eisai alliance in the development of a gene vaccine for Alzheimer’s disease using amyloid β gene.