Fujifilm and Anicom Holdings, Inc. enter into partnership
to establish a joint venture for developing and providing cutting-edge
veterinary technologies and services with focus on regenerative medicine

December 21, 2015

FUJIFILM Corporation
Anicom Holdings, Inc.

FUJIFILM Corporation (President: Shigehiro Nakajima) and Anicom Holdings, Inc.
(President:Nobuaki Komori) have today signed a basic agreement to partner in the field of cutting-edge veterinary medicine and establish a joint venture in Japan next spring. The new company will develop and provide innovative and advanced cutting-edge medical technologies and services with the focus on regenerative medicine* in the field of cutting-edge veterinary medicine.

In 2004, the number of domestic dogs and cats in Japan exceeded that of children below the age of 15, and the trend is set to continue.** Japanese people are also becoming increasingly more affectionate toward pets, embracing them as a member of the family. Amidst the given trend, the life expectancy of dogs and cats is extended and it has left more and more of them to develop lifestyle diseases such as cancer or diabetes, similar to human. A growing number of pet owners are seeking advancement in veterinary medicine. Until now, veterinary medicine has developed based on knowledge from medical science for humans. In order to provide medical care specifically designed for animals, it is necessary to accumulate animal treatment data as clear evidence for future reference. The advancement of veterinary medicine is certain to boost the importance of pet insurance to reduce pet owners' financial burden.

According to the basic agreement, Fujifilm and Anicom will establish a joint venture for developing and providing cutting-edge veterinary technologies and services with the focus on regenerative medicine (Capital ratio: Fujifilm at 51% and Anicom at 49%). The new company will aim to develop advanced veterinary medicine by combining Fujifilm's advanced production enginieering and quality control technology nurtured in its photographic film business as well as diagnostic imaging technology, blood's chemical composition analysis technology and regenerative medical technology, with Anicom's veterinary hospital network, electronic medical record system and extensive animal treatment data. To this end, the company will initially take on the following initiatives:

  • Setting up the base for translational research*** to develop animals therapies such as regenerative medicine

Through joint development with academia, the company will conduct science-based clinical research on such as regenerative medicine including cell therapies. It will pursue standardizing the therapeutic protocols from definitive diagnosis to treatment, building a consistent approach from development to treatment by partnering with hub veterinary hospitals that carry out consultation.

  • Developing technologies for stable production of cells and other materials for use in treatment and establishing a quality assurance structure

It will develop technologies for establish mass and stable production of materials including uniform-quality cells for use in treatment, and establish a quality assurance structure.

  • Accumulating consultation data including medical imaging to build a mechanism for therapeutic application

It will make use of electronic medical records such as therapeutic effects and medical imaging in developing new therapies.

Through these efforts, the new company will develop cutting-edge veterinary technologies and services and provide them to veterinary hospitals. For these technologies and services, Fujifilm will supply regenerative medical materials and medical equipment such as diagnostic imaging systems, while Anicom will provide the electronic medical record system. Anicom will also develop pet insurance products to help reduce the financial strains of pet owners and spread the application of cutting-edge veterinary care. Under the partnership, Fujifilm and Anicom are committed to contributing to the advancement of veterinary medicine.

In addition to diagnostic application of X-ray films and digital images, Fujifilm has explored the diagnostic field of blood testing to further advance diagnostic technologies for both humans and animals. In recent years, it has also directed its focus on regenerative medicine. Tapping into technologies nurtured through the photographic film business, Fujifilm has developed recombinant peptide*4, a “scaffolding*5” material required for cell cultivation in regenerative medicine. It has also reinforced its initiatives in the field of regenerative medicine with affiliates such as Japan Tissue Engineering Co., Ltd., the first company to have introduced a regenerative medicine product to the Japanese market, and Cellular Dynamics International Inc., the global leader in iPS cell technology.

Anicom is Japan's largest pet insurance provider, covering some 600,000 pets in the nation. It has a network of around 6,000 veterinary hospitals nationwide, and provides an electronic medical record system specifically designed for veterinary use to them. With over 100 in-house veterinarians working in-house, the company uses insight obtained through the analysis of data from over 10 million consultation cases since its establishment to provide insurance policyholders with preventive information in an effort to highlight the importance of prevention. In numerous projects of joint research with domestic academia of veterinary medicine, it is striving to improve veterinary medicine including diagnostics and therapies, while exploring the extension of health and life expectancy for both humans and animals.

  • * Regenerative medicine is a new field of medical technology for grafting artificially cultured cells and tissues to damaged organs and tissues to restore their functions.
  • ** As of 2014, Japan had 20.31 million canine and feline pets as opposed to 16.32 million children under the age of 15. (Source: Comprehensive survey on canine and feline pet keeping by the Japan Pet Food Association and statistics by the Statistics Bureau, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications)
  • *** Translational research refers to the re-evaluation of basic insight and technologies found in laboratories for their clinical application potential and their subsequent development to the stage of clinical use. In other words, it is a type of research that bridges between foundation studies and clinical studies.
  • *4 Synthetic proteins modeled on human Type I collagen, manufactured with yeast cells using genetic engineering techniques
  • *5 Extracellular matrix (also known as “scaffold”), which provides a structure necessary for cells to attach to and achieve normal multiplication

For enquiries on information in this media release, contact:

Media Contact:
FUJIFILM Corporation
Corporate Communications Division
TEL: +81-03-6271-2000
Anicom Holdings, Inc.
Corporate Planning Department
TEL: +81-03-5348-3911
Other Contact:
FUJIFILM Corporation
Healthcare Business Development Office
TEL: +81-03-6271-2254
Anicom Holdings, Inc.
Corporate Planning Department
TEL: +81-03-5348-3911