Fujifilm invests in JUNTEN BIO, a regenerative medicine venture company
Signs a service agreement on the development of regenerative medical products
for reducing the use of immunosuppressants
June 4, 2019
Tokyo ― FUJIFILM Corporation (President: Kenji Sukeno) announced that it has entered into an agreement with JUNTEN BIO Co., Ltd. (Junten Bio), a company that targets the practical application of regenerative medical technologies that induce immunotolerance*1, to underwrite the company’s third-party allocation of shares, and invested a sum of 200 million yen. In making this investment, Fujifilm’s subsidiary Japan Tissue Engineering Co. Ltd. (J-TEC) also signed a service agreement with Junten Bio to provide pharmaceutical regulatory consulting service for the development of regenerative medical products.
Through the conclusion of these agreements, Fujifilm will gain access to technologies and know-how on regenerative medical products that Junten Bio develops, and offer service for supporting pharmaceutical regulatory operations.
Currently, after organ transplants, immunosuppressants are generally used continuously to suppress rejections that occurs as the transplant recipient’s immune cells recognize the donor’s transplanted organ as foreign. However, continuous administration of immunosuppressants may cause problems such as the increased risk of infections and other complications, and financial burden on the patients.
Junten Bio is a regenerative medicine venture company originating at Juntendo University. It is engaged in developing practical applications of regenerative medical technology developed by Juntendo University, including technologies to combine autologous T-cells*2 into donor-derived T-cells and antibodies and then culturing the mixture, thereby processing it into autologous T-cells with the ability to induce immunotolerance to donor derived organs. Juntendo University has already performed clinical research on regenerative medical products that employ this technology, targeting patients who have undergone liver or kidney transplants, and the research suggests the products’ safety as well as efficacy, such as reducing or allowing discontinuation of the use of immunosuppressants.
Fujifilm has been accelerating R&D for in-house regenerative medical products, and expanding our regenerative medicine contract businesses through J-TEC, which became the first in Japan to launch regenerative medical products, and FUJIFILM Cellular Dynamics, Inc. (FCDI), a leading global developer and manufacturer of human induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell technologies. With this investment, Fujifilm will have access to technologies and know-how relating to regenerative medical products that induce immunotolerance, and will consider applying them to the R&D of in-house regenerative medical products. Moreover, the company will further expand its regenerative medicine contract businesses by having J-TEC offer Junten Bio the supporting services of pharmaceutical regulatory operations on regenerative medical products.
Fujifilm is committed to expanding its business operations and contributing to the promotion of the regenerative medicine business to the industrialization stage by utilizing an array of technologies of Fujifilm group including Fujifilm’s high-performance materials and engineering technologies that it has cultivated and enhanced through the development of broad-ranging products, J-TEC’s technologies to produce cells for therapeutic use, FCDI’s world-leading technologies and know-how relating to iPS cells, and culturing technologies of FUJIFILM Wako Pure Chemical Corporation and FUJIFILM Irvine Scientific, Inc.
*1: A condition in which specific immune responses against specific antigens are either lacking or being suppressed.
*2: T-cell is a type of lymphocyte. It possesses T-cell receptors that bind specifically to a certain antigen and, through such receptors, makes immune responses to the antigen. Autologous T-cell is a type of T-cell deriving from the patients themselves.
<Overview of Junten Bio>
- Name of company: JUNTEN BIO Co., Ltd.
- President and Representative Director: Masanari Kawaminami
- Address: 2-1-3 Nihonbashi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, Japan
- Established: June 2018
- Capital: 480 million yen
- Line of business: Research and development of cell therapy and regenerative medicine products