Fujifilm Corporation (President: Shigehiro Nakajima) has announced the establishment of “Fujifilm Tissue Engineering (Shanghai) Co., Ltd.” in Shanghai to launch regenerative medicine business in China. Under China’s New Medical Technique* for approving clinical application of advanced medical technologies, the company aims to start providing epidermis culturing services on contract to medical institutes by 2015.
Regenerative medicine is a new field of medical technology for grafting artificially cultured cells and tissues to damaged organs and tissues to regenerate them and restore their functions. The promotion of the practical application of regenerative medicine is one of the key strategies under Japan’s pro-growth “Abenomics” policy, with the government exploring new legislation on regenerative medicine and introducing active initiatives for its overseas deployment.
Currently, Fujifilm is working in partnership with Japan Tissue Engineering Co. Ltd. (President: Yosuke Ozawa, hereinafter “J-TEC”)**, Japan’s only company dealing with regenerative medical products, to promote the “project for practical application of regenerative medicine in China and Thailand”*4, one of the projects adopted under the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry’s “feasibility research on the overseas deployment of Japanese medical devices and services”***. This project involves promoting the commercial introduction of dermatotherapy*5 that uses autologous cultured epidermis, Japan’s first regenerative medical product developed by J-TEC, in China, and exploring the use of autologous cultured cartilage in treating osteochondral defect in Thailand. Fujifilm Tissue Engineering (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. has been established to promote this project in China.
Fujifilm Tissue Engineering (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. operates the regenerative medicine business, utilizing Fujifilm’s business foundation in China that the company has nurtured through its medical business, and combining it with J-TEC’s technology and know-how in cell culturing. Under China’s New Medical Technique, the new company will provide epidermis culturing services on contract to medical institutes, thereby achieving the commercialization of regenerative medicine in China.
Fujifilm is to tap into the technology and know-how it has accumulated thus far to promote the commercialization of regenerative medicine technology, thereby improving people’s quality of life and establishing regenerative medicine as an industry.
<Outlines of the new company>
Company name : FUJIFILM Tissue Engineering (Shanghai) Co., Ltd.
Address : Zhangjiang High Technology Park, Pudong New Area, Shanghai
Representatives : President Yuzo Toda, CEO Haruhisa Manzawa
Business description : Supplying epidermis culturing services to medical institutes
* A scheme for approving the clinical application of advanced medical technologies at medical institutes on the discretion of local governments, with the aim of promoting the advancement of medicine and medical technologies. Hospitals and medical practitioners carry out clinical tests and submit an application to a local government for approval.
** Fujifilm and the Fujifilm Group’s Toyama Chemical Co., Ltd. have 41.10% and 4.51% stake respectively in J-TEC. On March 31, 2014, J-TEC is scheduled to issue 18,000 subscription rights (for 18,000 shares), which Fujifilm is to take over. If Fujifilm chooses to exercise the rights in full, the Fujifilm Group will hold 50.47% of shares issued by J-TEC.
(Based on the total number of J-TEC shares issued as of September 30, 2013)
*** A government program widely seeking submissions from medical institutes and private enterprises on their initiatives for actively deploying medical devices and services overseas, in order to internationalize Japan’s medical services and reinforcing the international competitiveness of Japan’s medical devices, pharmaceuticals, etc.
*4 A project for making business deployment of autologous cultured epidermis and cartilage, approved for manufacturing and marketing in Japan, to China and Thailand, so as to contribute to the health of patients and securing revenues from manufacturing and marketing
*5 Burns treatment or cosmetic therapy for pigmentary dermatosis such as white or pigmented nevus by way of the grafting of autologous cultured epidermis