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Japanese stem cell firm ReproCell expands to US

09 January 2013 | News | By BioSpectrum Bureau

The new office currently employs three people, with plans to hire an additional nine employees by 2016

The new office currently employs three people, with plans to hire an additional nine employees by 2016

Singapore: ReproCELL, a Japanese stem cell technology company, has opened the company's first branch and US office in Boston. ReproCELL is the third Japanese life sciences company to have expanded into Massachusetts in the past six months, following Scivax and Human Metabolon Technologies.

The new office currently employs three people, with plans to hire an additional nine employees by 2016. "The US market is the most important for ReproCELL to enter in order to foster our growth – we estimate that the US market is 20 to 50 times larger than that of Japan," said Mr Takashi Masai, COO, ReproCELL USA. "Massachusetts is the perfect place to start our business in the US because of its high concentration of top-level customers for both of our business lines. In addition, the Commonwealth provides access to the network of biotech professionals and support from government partners, such as the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC)."

Founded in 2003, ReproCELL is the only Japanese human embryonic stem (ES) and induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell-related company. ReproCELL offers human iPS/ES cell culture media and the world's first commercialized human iPS cell derived cardiomyocyte, dopaminergic neuron, cholinergic neuron, Alzheimer's disease model neuron and hepatocyte.

In October, the company was included on the "Deloitte Technology Fast 50 Japan" list. "Thanks to our growth strategy of investing in education, innovation and infrastructure, including our 10-year, $1-billion Life Sciences Initiative, Massachusetts continues to lead the world in life sciences," said
Governor Deval Patrick. "I congratulate ReproCELL, and appreciate the company's commitment to growing in Massachusetts."

"I am so proud to welcome the innovative, Japanese stem cell company ReproCELL to Massachusetts," said Massachusetts House Speaker Robert A DeLeo, who met with representatives of ReproCELL at the BIO International Convention in June. "As Massachusetts moves forward and begins to emerge from this economic downturn, we are focusing our efforts on bringing new jobs and making our Commonwealth more competitive through passing ground-breaking economic development legislation and leading the nation in health care cost containment. ReproCELL's expansion into Massachusetts paves the way for other innovative companies and start-ups to find a home in Massachusetts."

"ReproCELL is a welcome addition to the life science cluster in Massachusetts," said Japanese Consul General Akira Muto. "ReproCELL's technology shows the strength of Japanese innovation by enabling groundbreaking biological research to take place, such as Dr Shinya Yamanaka's Nobel Prize winning work with iPS cells, and will provide positive economic benefits to both Massachusetts and Japan."

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