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Fujifilm makes capital investment in the regenerative medicine venture, Regcell

- signing a business partnership agreement for development support of regenerative medicine products -

May 10, 2017

FUJIFILM Corporation (President: Kenji Sukeno) has today made a 170 million yen capital investment, through a third-party share allocation, in Regcell Co., Ltd. (hereinafter “Regcell”), a regenerative medicine venture exploring the practical application of innovative medical technology based on immune cells. Fujifilm also signed a business partnership agreement with RegCell on April 28 on development support of regenerative medicine products.
Through this latest capital and business partnership, Fujifilm will be able to access, apply and deploy cutting-edge technologies on immune cell therapy, thereby accelerating in-house R&D for regenerative medicine products. Fujifilm will also receive from Regcell, via its group company, Japan Tissue Engineering Co., Ltd. (hereinafter “J-TEC”), contracts for developing cell culturing processes and offering pharmaceutical consulting services.

Regcell is a regenerative medicine venture, established to develop and commercialize epoch-making immunotherapy technology using autologous regulatory T cells* and cytotoxic T cells** derived from allogeneic iPS cells***. The company introduced technology for multiplying and producing high-quality T cells from the internationally-renowned immunology researchers, Prof. Shimon Sakaguchi (professor emeritus at Osaka University and Kyoto University) and Prof. Hiroshi Kawamoto (Institute for Frontier Medical Sciences, Kyoto University). Utilizing the technology, Regcell plans to achieve clinical development of regenerative medicine products, using immune cells, within the next few years.

R&D on immunotherapy using T cells has become active in recent years amidst expectations of strong efficacy with minimal side effects. Therapy using regulatory T cells, in particular, could provide a new solution to autoimmune diseases (e.g. rheumatoid arthritis) and rejection in live-donor transplantation. Treatment using cytotoxic T cells is considered to have strong efficacy on cancer, and the use of allogeneic iPS cells is expected to provide a high level of convenience with cost effevtiveness. This is why there is a growing attention on R&D for such therapies.

Through its U.S. subsidiary Cellular Dynamics International, Inc. (hereinafter “CDI”), a leading company in iPS cell development and manufacturing, Fujifilm is conducting R&D of iPS cell-based cell therapies for age-related macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa, Parkinson's disease, heart diseases and cancer.

In January this year, in a bid to accelerate R&D for regenerative medicine products, Fujifilm made capital investment in Australia’s regenerative medicine venture, Cynata Therapeutics Limited (hereinafter “Cynata”). Cynata is undertaking the world’s most cutting-edge medical initiatives, e.g. planning to start clinical trial of regenerative medicine product, using allogeneic iPS cells, on GvHD*4 patients. The clinical trial will use iPS cells supplied by CDI.

Fujifilm will work to make further progress in research and development in the field of regenerative medicine and contribute to the elevation of regenerative medicine business to the industrial stage. Fujifilm will continue to fuse its expertise in highly functional materials and engineering nurtured through long-years of research in photographic film with the technologies held by Fujifilm group companies, such as the technology of J-TEC, for producing cells for treatment and the world-leading iPS cell-related technology and know-how developed by CDI.

< Overview of Regcell >

Regcell is a regenerative medicine venture, established in Kyoto City, Japan in January 2016 as part of venture incubation activities implemented by iPS Portal Inc.*5 Regcell introduced technology for multiplying and producing high-quality T cells from the internationally-renowned immunology researchers, Prof. Shimon Sakaguchi and Prof. Hiroshi Kawamoto to establish practical application of innovative medical technology based on immune cells.

Company name Regcell Co., Ltd.
President Naoto Matsuda
Address 448-5 Kajii-cho, Kawaramachi-dori Imadegawa-sagaru, Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto, Japan
Foundation January 27, 2016
Paid-in capital 58.54 million yen
Business description Technological development of innovative immunotherapy using regulatory T cells and cytotoxic T cells
  • * Regulatory T cells derived from the patient receiving the treatment; Regulatory T cells are a type of T cells capable of regulating and inhibiting immune response, acting as a brake to reduce excessive immune response.
  • ** A type of T cells also known as cytotoxic T lymphocyte or CTL, which attacks foreign proteins such as viruses and cancer cells in the body.
  • *** iPS cells produced from the cells of a healthy person other than the patient receiving the treatment; These cells can be prepared in advance, offering a high level of convenience when used in treatment.
  • *4 GvHD stands for graft-versus-host disease, in which a graft recognizes the body of the recipient (the host) as “foreign.” GvHD is a general term for complications involving a donor organ attacking the recipient's organs in an immune response.
  • *5 A company established in July 2014 with the aim of assisting applied research and commercialization of iPS cell-related technology; iPS Portal is expanding its business, working on greater applications of iPS cell technology in the field of drug discovery and other fields. In February 2016, it became the first business designated to operate in a National Strategic Special Zone in Japan.

For inquiries on information in this media release, contact:

Media Contact:
FUJIFILM Corporation
Corporate Communication Division
TEL: +81-3-6271-2000
Other Contact:
Regenerative Medicine Division
TEL: +81-3-6271-3030