iPS Academia Japan, Inc. 10th Anniversary

Special Message

Celebrating 10 years of iPS Academia Japan

Congratulations to iPS Academia Japan, Inc., for completing 10 years of success in business. Since the first human iPS cell paper, published in 2007, I have encouraged Kyoto University to acquire patents associated with iPS cells so that the technology could be licensed at affordable rates for all societies to benefit. Thus, the university helped found iPS Academia Japan.

Indeed, iPS Academia Japan has been instrumental in serving this purpose. There is one example I want to highlight here, in which its staff worked throughout the end-of-year holidays with CiRA (Center for iPS Cell Research and Application) staff in charge of intellectual properties to negotiate iPS cell-related patents with an American venture company. I would like to thank all the people at iPS Academia Japan for their unconditional commitment.

Further, through their hard work, more than 180 companies around the world have licensed patents held by CiRA and other organizations on iPS cell technology, and academic institutions may use iPS cell-related patents basically for free. I am extremely pleased to see iPS cell technology truly become global.

I am excited to see iPS Academia Japan continue to help more companies develop regenerative medicine and drug discovery using iPS cell technology through their services.

Shinya Yamanaka
Director of CiRA, Kyoto University
Scientific Adviser of iPS Academia Japan, Inc.

A History of iPS cells and
iPS Academia Japan, Inc.

before the foundation


First iPS cell basic patent application filed in Japan

First iPS cell basic patent application was filed in Japan, based on which its corresponding international application (PCT application) was filed in the following year.


Mouse iPS cells announced

Professor Shinya Yamanaka’s group reported the establishment of mouse iPS cells by introducing 4 factors, Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4 and c-Myc, into mouse skin cells in the journal “Cell.”


Human iPS cells announced

Professor Shinya Yamanaka’s group reported the establishment of human iPS cells by introducing 4 factors,Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4 and c-Myc, into human skin cells in the journal “Cell.” Professor James Thomson’s group also reported human iPS cells established with a different method in another journal on the same day

ⓒCenter for iPS Cell Research and Application,
Kyoto University

ⓒCenter for iPS Cell Research and Application,
Kyoto University

after the foundation


iPS Academia Japan established

iPS Academia Japan, Inc. was established in Kyoto on June 25, 2008 to promote the transfer of iPS cell-related technologies to industry for its commercialization. We started as an affiliate of Kyoto University with a mission to share the fruit of iPS cell research for the good of all humanity.

World's first iPS cell basic patent granted in Japan

The world's first iPS cell basic patent was granted in Japan. So far, 8 basic patents (our ref.: AJ001) have been granted in Japan. Further, their corresponding patents have been granted in more than 30 countries and regions worldwide.

ⓒCenter for iPS Cell Research and Application,
Kyoto University


First license agreement signed

Our first license agreement was entered into with ReproCELL, Inc. Since then, our licensees have gradually increased year by year.


First overseas licensing

Our first overseas license agreement was entered into with Cellular Dynamics International, Inc. (currently Fujifilm Cellular Dynamics, Inc.). iPS cell technology raised interest not only in Japan where iPS cells were invented, but also in countries where more ES cell research was conducted, which, as a result, increased foreign licensees.


iPierian patents assigned to Kyoto University

The patents of iPierian, Inc. were assigned to Kyoto University to avoid a potential patent dispute in the U.S.A. In return, we granted to iPierian a license under Kyoto University’s basic patents and the former iPierian patents.


Professor Yamanaka awarded Nobel Prize

Professor Shinya Yamanaka and Sir John B. Gurdon were jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for the discovery that mature cells could be reprogrammed to become pluripotent.


Patents from 10 academic institutions
300 patents available for licensing

Increasing numbers of patents were licensed not only from Kyoto University but from other universities and research institutions. The patents related to applications such as differentiation methods began to increase.


iPS Academia Japan reorganized

A part of our business was transferred to iPS Portal, Inc. Our business previously included research, sales of cells, etc., but since then, we have been specializing in patent licensing.


Relocated to Kyoto University campus

We were relocated to a new building in Yoshida Campus of Kyoto University.


Became an Approved TLO in Japan

We became an approved TLO in Japan by the authorization of both the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), and the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI).


500 patents available for licensing

We handled more patents from our licensors, and total 500 patents became available for licensing.


10th anniversary

The year 2018 marks the 10th anniversary of our company foundation. As of June, 2018, we have about 110 domestic licensees and 70 foreign licensees, and have licenses from Kyoto University and 14 other universities and research institutions.
We deeply appreciate your interest in iPS cell-related patents and your understanding to our patent licensing operation. In order to boost the industrialization of technology related to pluripotent stem cells including iPS cells, we will continue our efforts, therefore, we are highly appreciated of all your feedback and support for our activities.

Numbers of our Licensees