The National Institutes of Health Center for Regenerative Medicine (NIH CRM) has awarded Lonza’s Walkersville, Md., facility a contract to generate induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) for research purposes. The contract is a three year agreement with a value up to $6.9 million dollars.
This is the second contract the NIH has awarded Lonza for the generation of induced iPSCs. In October 2012, the NIH CRM awarded Lonza Walkersville a contract to generate clinical grade induced iPSCs under current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP).
Human iPSCs were first generated in 2007 by Dr. Shinya Yamanaka and colleagues at Kyoto University who subsequently won a Nobel Prize for this work. By definition, iPSCs have the ability to indefinitely self-renew and become any cell type in the body. Because of these attributes, iPSCs have become an important scientific tool and are spurring advancements in basic research, disease modeling, drug development and regenerative medicine.
"A few years ago, Lonza established its Pluripotent Stem Cell Innovation Center. The center has two mandates," said Stephan Kutzer, COO Lonza Pharma-Biotech. "First, the group was tasked with developing technologies to help the field move pluripotent stem cell derived therapies to the clinic. Second, it was tasked with providing a comprehensive service offering to support both basic and clinical PSC research. This latest NIH contract validates Lonza's investments in this key strategic area."
The contract awarded to Lonza is deemed an Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) award which is a U.S. government contract that provides an indefinite quantity of services for a fixed amount of time. For IDIQs, although nothing is guaranteed, minimum and maximum quantity limits are specified in the basic contract as either number of units (for supplies) or as dollar values (for services).