Commissioning the development of regenerative medical products to promote market introduction
FUJIFILM Corporation (President: Shigehiro Nakajima; Hereinafter “Fujifilm”) has decided to accept all of the 18,000 subscription rights (to 18,000 shares)** to be issued by Japan Tissue Engineering Co., Ltd. (President: Yosuke Ozawa; Hereinafter “J-TEC”), a company that deals with regenerative medicine products*.
J-TEC is to be commissioned to develop regenerative medicine products that utilize a type of collagen with excellent biocompatibility (recombinant peptide: RCP***), developed by Fujifilm, for future market introduction. Through this operation, Fujifilm is further reinforcing its partnership with J-TEC to accelerate its initiative for the practical application of regenerative medicine.
Tapping into technologies and know-how accumulated in the R&D and manufacturing of photographic films, Fujifilm has been developing RCP, which can be processed into various formulation as the “scaffold”*4 to aid cell growth and proliferation, required in regenerative medicine. The company has boosted its regenerative medicine business and its R&D structure, as seen in the establishment of the Regenerative Medicine Business Development Office and the Regenerative Medicine Research Laboratories in September last year. Fujifilm has high function materials produced with process control technology that forms the foundation of RCP, engineering technology for precision structuring, as well as diagnostic imaging and analysis technologies that can be applied to regenerative medicine and effective in bio-imaging. The company plans to combine them with J-TEC's multi-faceted technological capacity and know-how in areas covering research, development, production and marketing to promote the development and commercialization of regenerative medicine products.
The promotion of regenerative medicine's practical application is one of key items in Abenomics growth strategies. In November last year, the Diet passed the bill on the Act on Ensuring Regenerative Medicine Safety and the bill for partially amending the Pharmaceutical Affairs Act for effectuation by the end of this year. Among the provisions of these laws, the fast-track approval scheme that supports early commercialization of regenerative medicine products, and the outsourcing of cell processing from medical institutions to external companies, are described as a form of deregulation that accelerates the industrialization of regenerative medicine in Japan. In the given situation, Fujifilm is committed to further strengthening partnership with J-TEC to promote the establishment of the regenerative medicine industry.
* Regenerative medicine is a medical technology that involves the use of cultured cells or tissue to regenerate damaged organs and tissue and restore the functionality of affected parts of the human body. The three key factors of regenerative medicine are (1) “cells” that differentiate and proliferate to form human tissue, (2) “cytokine” that induces cell differentiation and proliferation and (3) “scaffold” required for normal cell growth and proliferation.
** Fujifilm invested in J-TEC in October, 2010 to strengthen its R&D for regenerative medicine, and currently holds 41.10% equity shares in the company. It also has 4.51% stake in the Fujifilm Group's Toyama Chemical Co., Ltd.. If Fujifilm exercises all the subscription rights it accepts this time, the Fujifilm Group is expected to have 50.47% of the shares issued by J-TEC (based on the number of shares issued as of September 30, 2013).
*** Human-type collagen, synthesized with microorganisms, using genetic engineering technology
*4 An extracellular material that provides the base for cells to attach to and correctly proliferate (also known as extracellular matrix)
J-TEC is Japan's only bio-venture enterprise that deals with regenerative medical products. It has obtained approval for manufacturing and distribution of Autologous Cultured Epidermis*5, “JACE”, and Autologous Cultured Cartilage*6, “JACC”.
President : Yosuke Ozawa
Location : 6-209-1 Miyakitadori, Gamagori, Aichi 443-0022, Japan
Establishment : February 1, 1999
Capitalization : 7,716.70 million yen
Business description : R&D, manufacturing and marketing of regenerative medical products and R&D support products
*5 A regenerative medicine product that involves culturing a patient's own epidermal cells, and forming a sheet to be placed back to the patient for the purpose of regenerating the skin
*6 A regenerative medicine product that involves culturing a patient's own chondrocytes, and turning them into gel to be placed back to the patient for the purpose of regenerating cartilage.