MADISON, Wis., June 8, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Cellular Dynamics International, Inc. (CDI) today announced an agreement with iPS Academia Japan, Inc ., who will distribute CDI's iCell® Cardiomyocytes , the first commercially available product based on induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), in Japan.
This distribution agreement brings the vision of the two pioneers of iPSC technology, Dr. James Thomson  and Dr. Shinya Yamanaka , a step closer to making the technology widely available to researchers worldwide and thus impacting human health and biological research. Thomson is CDI founder and Chief Scientific Officer, and Yamanaka is a member of iPS Academia Japan's scientific advisory board.
Drs. Thomson and Yamanaka concurrently published in Science  and Cell , respectively, in 2007 on their breakthrough iPSC research, whereby they turned ordinary human skin cells into pluripotent stem cells with the same characteristics and potential as embryonic stem cells.
iPS Academia Japan was originally established to manage the patents and technology arising from the work of Dr. Yamanaka of Kyoto University. CDI was the first foreign company granted a license to Yamanaka's iPSC patent portfolio by iPS Academia Japan, announced  in May 2010.
CDI is the world's largest manufacturer of cellular tools for drug discover