Two Madison area biotechs have their products singled out for recognition in The Scientist magazine’s Top 10 Innovations 2012.

They are Cellular Dynamics International’s MyCell Services and NanoLuc Luciferase technology by Promega Corp., Fitchburg.

CDI’s MyCell produces customized stem cells for use by scientists and researchers. The induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) are created by transforming cells in blood samples sent by customers.

“Human cells, derived from iPSCs, are a more relevant, predictive model of human response. CDI is the first company to utilize this technology to manufacture vast quantities of high quality stem cells and tissue cells required to better understand human biology, revolutionize the drug discovery process, and develop cell-based therapies to treat human diseases,” said Chris Parker, CDI chief commercial officer.

Promega’s technology is a new substance used to light up markers that researchers want to pinpoint within a cell. Derived from an enzyme found in a type of deep-sea shrimp, Promega’s fluorescent enzyme shines more brightly than others and is smaller, making it “less likely to disrupt the cellular processes researchers are using it to probe,” The Scientist article says.

Also among the top 10 is the Ion Proton system developed by Life Technologies, which has operations in Madison. The system was not developed here.

CDI had more news to crow about this week: GlaxoSmithKline used the Madison company’s iCell Neurons to make a significant discovery in Alzheimer’s disease research. Published online in Stem Cell Research, the drug company said its researchers exposed CDI’s cells to a peptide associated with Alzheimer’s and then screened hundreds of compounds to see if they could stop damage to the neurons. Researchers identified several small molecules that did that, a news release said.

Judy Newman is a business reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal.

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