01 Apr 2013, BioSpectrum Bureau , BioSpectrum
Singapore: Retina Institute Japan (RIJ), RIKEN, Japan, and Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma (DSP) have signed an agreement according to which DSP will invest into RIJ to put induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS) technology to practical use. Under the agreement, DSP subscribed for $20 million (JPY 1.5 billion) of third party allocation of shares by RIJ. DSP will exclusively discuss terms with RIJ to collaborate in and outside Japan and regarding the use of the latter's groundbreaking iPS cell technology to cure Age-related Macular Degeneration.
In the Mid-term Business Plan, DSP states that it will strengthen activities in cell therapy and regenerative medicines. DSP expects this collaboration with RIJ to contribute to the establishment of its business base for cell therapy and regenerative medicines in the future.
RIJ is one of the RIKEN Ventures and aims to commercialize the world's first pharmaceutical iPS cell-derived retinal pigment epithelial cells for an estimated $21 billion market based on the license of the patent on the technology developed by RIKEN. Moreover, both parties aim to develop other technologies like photo receptor transplantation, retinal regenerative medicine and diagnostic methods to treat refractory retinal diseases.
RIJ president, Dr Hardy T S Kagimoto, stated that, "The significance of this development cannot be underestimated. It is a privilege for RIJ to have the opportunity to commercialize this exciting new technology and to transform the lives of millions of patients globally."
Both parties look forward to working together to deliver therapeutic measures to the patients with refractory retinal disease as early as possible and also give the world a crucial project in the area of regenerative medicine.