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Cellular Dynamics International Awarded $500,000 SBIR Grant for Hematopoietic Stem Cell Research

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MADISON, Wis., November 6, 2008 – Cellular Dynamics International (CDI) announced today that it has been awarded a Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the NSF totaling $500,000 for automated cell culture and differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells. This grant follows on and further supports a Phase I grant awarded the company for $99,999 in the second half of 2007.

This Phase II SBIR grant will focus on automated scale-up of reproducible hematopoietic (blood-forming) cells from pluripotent stem cells. Hematopoietic cells are important for research and therapeutic purposes, including toxicity screening of new drugs in development and cell-based medical treatments for cancer therapy and blood-related diseases. In current practice, these cells are isolated from whole blood, cord blood, or bone marrow from human donors, and thus are available in small and highly variable batches, based on multiple donor genetic profiles. CDI’s core pluripotent stem cell technology eliminates this variability, requiring only a single cell-donor source to create a virtually unlimited supply of genetically homogenous, high quality cells. Phase II of this grant will enable the company to establish automated methods for large-scale production of hematopoietic progenitor cells. Hematopoietic progenitor cells can differentiate into any type of blood cell, including red blood cells, platelets, dendritic cells, and more.

“By establishing an automated stem cell directed differentiation system and enabling the scale-up production of differentiated cells for screening, toxicology testing, and assay development, CDI is striving to impact healthcare by significantly improving the drug discovery and development process,” said Chris Kendrick-Parker, CDI Chief Commercial Officer. “This infrastructure will enable the production of a variety of blood cell types in quantities required for basic research, drug development, high-throughput screening, biochemical characterization, and potential medical treatment of blood-related diseases.”

About Cellular Dynamics International, Inc.

Cellular Dynamics International, Inc. (CDI) is a leading developer of stem cell technologies for in vitro drug development, in vivo cellular therapeutics, and stem cell banking. CDI harnesses its unique manufacturing technology to produce differentiated tissue cells in industrial quality, quantity and purity from any individual’s stem cell line created from a standard blood draw. 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. See www.cellulardynamics.com.