Fujifilm invests in Japan Biomedical
developer, manufacturer and vendor of additives for cell culture media

for acquiring exclusive sales rights in Japan and developing new media with new functionality

October 26, 2017

FUJIFILM Corporation (President: Kenji Sukeno) signed a contract on October 25 for the investment of 37 million yen accepting a third party allocation of shares in Japan Biomedical Co., Ltd, (JBM), a developer, manufacturer and vendor of additives for cell culture media. As a result of this investment, Fujifilm will hold a 19.8% stake of JBM.
Fujifilm made the investment in order to acquire the exclusive sales rights in Japan for JBM's NeoSERA® product, the media additive that achieves high levels of cell proliferation, as well as in order to develop new media products with additional functionality by combining NeoSERA® with media suitable for the cultivation of various different cell types. Fujifilm is committed to the further expansion of its regeneration business through an expanded and improved portfolio of media products.

Cell culture media are essential for cell proliferation to provide nutrients. For promoting the cell proliferation to achieve efficient cell cultivation, media additives are also important. Usually, blood serum products are used as additives. Most serum is fetal bovine serum, as the serum of fetal calves contains many of the factors required for cell proliferation. However, as the volume of blood that can be extracted from one fetal calf is limited, the production of the serum has encountered difficulties in achieving large product volumes with homogenous quality. This challenge led JBM to establish technology for extracting blood containing many of the factors required for cell proliferation from mature cattle. The company harnesses the technology to mass produce the serum and launched the media additive NeoSERA®.

NeoSERA® is the first bovine serum product to receive official confirmation* of its suitability for use as a material for regenerative medicine products from the Pharmaceutical and Medical Devices Agency (PMDA). The product achieves excellent cell proliferation, ability in the cultivation of cells including mesenchymal stem cells**, and is an optimum choice for various clinical applications for which future demand is expected to increase.

The Fujifilm Group include Japan Tissue Engineering Co., Ltd. (J-TEC), the first company in Japan to develop and launch regenerative medicine products and Cellular Dynamics International, Inc. (CDI), a US company playing a leading role in the development and production of iPS cells. In April this year, Wako Pure Chemical Industries, Ltd., a company manufacturing and selling reagents, including media, clinical testing agents, and other chemical products, also became a subsidiary of the Fujifilm Group. Currently, the Group has the in-house capability to produce all of the important elements required for the development of regenerative medicine, namely cells, scaffolding, and media and feed, allowing the Group to effectively pursue its regenerative medicine business.

In July, prior to this investment in JBM, Wako Pure Chemical Industries already concluded an exclusive contract with JBM for the sale in Japan of NeoSERA®. Sales activities for NeoSERA® are already underway. Through the investment, Fujifilm will develop new media products with additional functionality by combining NeoSERA® with media suitable for the cultivation of various different cell types, aiming to bring these products to market as rapidly as possible by harnessing the technologies of the group companies of J-TEC, CDI and Wako Pure Chemical Industries.

Fujifilm is working to accelerate the research and development of in-house regenerative medicine products through the achievement of synergies between the highly functional materials technology and engineering technology accumulated over long years of photographic film research, the therapeutic cell production technology of J-TEC, the world-leading iPS cell-related technology and know-how of CDI and the expertise in media held by Wako Pure Chemical Industries. In addition, the company is also working to contribute to the elevation of the regenerative medicine by expanding the contract development and manufacturing business of regenerative medicine products and media business.

  • * In Japan, the PDMA confirms the compatibility and safety of materials used in the manufacture of regenerative medicine products which contain human- or animal-derived compounds, for example media which are not incorporated into the final product, in order to ensure the absence of any viruses and other pathogenic microbes.
  • ** Mesenchymal stem cells are a type of stem cells found in the body. The cells have a certain degree of potency and capacity of differentiation and proliferation. Currently, over 1000 clinical research projects are underway to investigate the capacity of the cells to provide therapy for a wide range of different conditions including stroke, cartilage damage, ischemic heart failure and lower limb ischemia.
<Summary of JBM>
Company name Japan Biomedical Co., Ltd.
Representative Director Toshita Sudo
Address 27-2, Nishi-issen, Aza-mannen, Otohuke-cho, Koto-gun, Hokkaido
Date of Foundation January 10, 2017
Capital 200 million yen
Businesses Technical development, contract research, manufacturing, sales, export and import, and consulting with relation to media and feed additives for cell cultivation.

For inquiries on information in this media release, contact:

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