Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells: Inventors turning into competitors
Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (IPSCs) are a kind of adult cells that have been genetically reprogrammed to become different cell types. Differentiated cells can be reprogrammed to an embryonic-like state by transfer of nuclear contents into oocytes or by fusion with embryonic stem cells. IPSCs technology was pioneered by Shinya Yamanaka from Kyoto University. This breakthrough has inspired researchers to start working around IPSC technology. James Thomson from University of California has developed IPS cell lines derived from Human Somatic Cells. Subsequently, he also established a large scale human IPSC manufacturing company named Cellular Dynamics International. Thus, increasing interest in the commercial exploitation of IPSCs patents has lead us to look into the patent portfolios of top three patent assignees in IPSC technology. In this study, we have discussed technological patent trends and multiple factors which reflect the competitive scenario between the top assignees of IPSC technology. Our conclusions suggest that Kyoto University led by inventor Shinya Yamanaka is the leader of IPSC technology. However, patent-product linkage analysis suggests that Cellular Dynamics International led by inventor James Thomson may surpass Kyoto University in near future.
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