Kusatsu/Shiga, Japan — October 19, 2017 — Takara Bio Inc. (Takara Bio), today announced the conclusion of a license agreement with Kyushu University for a new iPS cell production technology owned by Kyushu University, using the measles virus vector, a novel gene transfer vector, under which Takara Bio is granted an exclusive global license.
Takara Bio is conducting joint research on the development of iPS cell production technology using the measles virus vector with the inventor of this technology, Kenzaburo Tani, professor (project), Project Division of ALA Advanced Medical Research, IMS, The University of Tokyo, (Former professor of the Medical Institute of Bioregulation, Kyushu University) and Makoto Takeda, Director of the Department of Virology III, National Institute of Infectious Diseases (Former Associate Professor at the Faculty of Medical Sciences, Kyushu University).
The measles virus is a single-stranded RNA virus that belongs to the family Paramyxoviridae. The measles virus vector has been modified to remove genes relating to the inherent pathogenicity and propagation of the measles virus, and to enable it to carry desired genes for gene transfer. Since transcription and translation of the gene being carried occur only in the cytoplasm, the gene is not integrated into chromosomes. Genes can be introduced into cells with high efficiency, particularly immune cells and hematopoietic stem cells, and iPS cells produced efficiently.
Takara Bio Inc. will continue its efforts to optimize the measles virus vector for iPS cell production and develop mass-production methods, and plans to begin a new product and contract service using the measles virus vector, in the future.
Takara Bio Inc. continues to focus on the development of numerous vector technologies, including the measles virus vector, and iPS cell-related products and services.

Measles virus

The measles virus is a single-stranded RNA virus belonging to the family Paramyxoviridae and is the cause of measles. The measles virus vector is a vector from which the toxicity and propagativity of the measles virus has been removed by genetic engineering and which can carry a desired gene.