FUJIFILM Cellular Dynamics Launches Parkinson’s Disease iCell DopaNeurons featuring LRRK2 and GBA Mutations

Leverages iPSCs derived from participants in The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research’s landmark study, PPMI

MADISON, Wis. – FUJIFILM Cellular Dynamics, Inc., a leading global developer and manufacturer of human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) products, announced today the launch of Parkinson’s disease (PD) iCell DopaNeurons featuring LRRK2 (G2019S) and GBA (N370S) mutations, which are common PD risk-associated mutations. These PD iCell DopaNeurons were developed and manufactured by FUJIFILM Cellular Dynamics from iPSCs derived from PD participants in The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research’s (MJFF) landmark study, Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative (PPMI). Through PPMI, each cell line is supported by patient clinical, imaging, genomics, and biological data.

PD affects nearly 1 million people in the United States and more than 6 million people worldwide.[1],[2] Studies suggest that mutations in leucine-rich repeat kinase-2 (LRRK2) and the Glucocerebrosidase gene (GBA) are associated with an increased risk for developing PD, and are active clinical targets for therapeutic drug development.[3] The iCell DopaNeurons for LRRK2 (G2019S) and GBA (N370S) mutations offer researchers a commercially accessible, biologically and clinically relevant cell model to help propel therapeutic discovery and target drug screening.

FUJIFILM Cellular Dynamics’ expertise in differentiating and commercializing iPSC-derived cell products ensure a steady supply of iCell DopaNeurons LRRK2 (G2019S) and GBA (N370S) with consistent purity and relevant biological functionality to support sustained research in this field.

“The iPSCs generated from PD donors in MJFF’s landmark PPMI study enabled us to develop much-needed cellular tools to advance the discovery and development of therapeutic treatments for Parkinson’s disease,” said Keith R. Olson, Ph.D., senior vice president of commercial operations, FUJIFILM Cellular Dynamics, Inc. “We anticipate human stem cell-derived disease models, such as the iCell DopaNeurons for LRRK2 and GBA mutations, will become the standard for research and development of disease modifying therapeutics for Parkinson’s disease patients.”

“These dopaminergic neurons are an extension of PPMI’s resource for discovery and therapeutic development,” said Nicole K. Polinski, Ph.D., director of research resources at The Michael J. Fox Foundation. “MJFF is dedicated to sharing research tools that will expedite our commitment to finding a cure and improving therapies for those living with the condition today.”

To learn more about FUJIFILM Cellular Dynamics full portfolio, visit www.fujifilmcdi.com

To learn more about MJFF, visit https://www.michaeljfox.org/. To learn more about the PPMI study, please visit https://www.michaeljfox.org/ppmi, data from the study is available by request at www.ppmi-info.org.

About Fujifilm

FUJIFILM Cellular Dynamics, Inc. is a leading developer and manufacturer of human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) utilized in drug discovery and cell therapies. The pre-clinical stage company is using its expertise in iPSC technologies to develop a robust pipeline of cell therapeutics candidates. For its partners, FUJIFILM Cellular Dynamics, Inc. utilizes its iPSC platform to advance the progress of therapeutic candidates in the clinic and provides contract development and manufacturing (CDMO) services. In addition to cell therapy, FUJIFILM Cellular Dynamics, Inc. also offers life science research tools including the company’s inventoried iCell® products that are available in many cell types and sourced from multiple cell lines which can be applied for target identification as well as toxicity testing. The company also offers custom cell services and cell banking. The company’s goal is to leverage the vast utility of iPSCs to advance human health and improve the quality of life for patients around the world. For more information, please visit: https://fujifilmcdi.com/

FUJIFILM Corporation, Tokyo, is an operating company of FUJIFILM Holdings Corporation along with FUJIFILM Business Innovation Corp. FUJIFILM Holdings leverages its depth of knowledge and proprietary core technologies to deliver Value from Innovation in our products and services in the business segments of healthcare, materials, business innovation, and imaging. Our relentless pursuit of innovation is focused on providing social value and enhancing the lives of people worldwide. Fujifilm is committed to responsible environmental stewardship and good corporate citizenship. For more information about Fujifilm’s Sustainable Value Plan 2030, click here.

For the year ended March 31, 2022, the company had global revenues of approximately 2.5 trillion yen (21 billion $USD at an exchange rate of 122 yen/dollar). For more information, please visit: www.fujifilmholdings.com.

About The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research

As the world’s largest nonprofit funder of Parkinson’s research, The Michael J. Fox Foundation is dedicated to accelerating a cure for Parkinson’s disease and improved therapies for those living with the condition today. The Foundation pursues its goals through an aggressively funded, highly targeted research program coupled with active global engagement of scientists, Parkinson’s patients, business leaders, clinical trial participants, donors, and volunteers. In addition to funding $1.5 billion in research to date, the Foundation has fundamentally altered the trajectory of progress toward a cure. Operating at the hub of worldwide Parkinson’s research, the Foundation forges groundbreaking collaborations with industry leaders, academic scientists and government research funders; creates a robust open-access data set and biosample library to speed scientific breakthroughs and treatment with its landmark clinical study, PPMI; increases the flow of participants into Parkinson’s disease clinical trials with its online tool, Fox Trial Finder; promotes Parkinson’s awareness through high-profile advocacy, events, and outreach; and coordinates the grassroots involvement of thousands of Team Fox members around the world. For more information, visit us at www.michaeljfox.org, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn.


Christine Jackman
FUJIFILM Holdings Americas Corp

[1] Parkinson’s Foundation | Statistics.https://www.parkinson.org/Understanding-Parkinsons/Statistics#:~:text=More%20than%2010%20million%20people,have%20Parkinson’s%20disease%20than%20women. From Marras C, Beck JC, Bower JH et al. 2018. Prevalence of Parkinson’s disease across North America. npj Parkinson’s Disease 4, 21; https://doi.org/10.1038/s41531-018-0058-0.

[2] GBD 2016 Parkinson’s Disease Collaborators. 2018. Global, regional, and national burden of Parkinson’s disease, 1990–2016: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016. Lancet Neurol 17:939-53, https://doi.org/10.1016/S1474-4422(18)30295-3.

[3] Ortega RA, Wang C, Raymond D, et al. 2021. Association of dual LRRK2 G2019S and GBA variations with Parkinson Disease progression. JAMA Netw Open 4(4):e215845; http://doi.org/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.5845.