Hitachi Chemical Licenses Patents and Know-How for Technologies Relating to Stem Cell Culture Media/Stem Cell Culture Methods from Accellta in Israel
Dream Incubator Inc. (hereinafter “DI”), provided advisory service along with Harel-Hertz Investment House Ltd (hereinafter “HIH”) to the leading stem cell startup in Israel – Accellta Limited (hereinafter “Accellta”), in the technology alliance with Japan’s chemical company Hitachi Chemical.
－Accellta is growing to become “Intel of Stem Cell” in tie up
with Japan’s chemical company－
Feb 5, 2018
Hitachi Chemical Co., Ltd.
Hitachi Chemical Co., Ltd. (Head Office: Tokyo; President and CEO: Hisashi Maruyama; hereinafter "Hitachi Chemical") announces the signing of a Technical License Agreement with the Israeli company "Accellta Ltd." (Head Office; Haifa, Israel; CEO: Dr. Michal Amit; hereinafter "Accellta"), which develops culture media(*1) and culture methods for stem cells production offering a range of innovative proprietary technology designed to offer high quality affordable stem cell culturing solutions.
Accellta was founded in November, 2012 with its technology and know-how based on the accumulated 20 years of pioneering stem cell research and development efforts at the Israel Institute of Technology (known as Technion). Accellta has developed stem cell culture media and methods that enable, among others, high speed mass culturing of stem cells and its technologies have been presented at major international academic conferences and garnered high acclaim. Added to these achievements, Accellta`s patent applications have been filed on a worldwide basis and are now allowed in many countries. Accellta has attempted to introduce a paradigm shift to the stem cell marketplace: its media product has the potential to quickly, efficiently, and cost-effectively growing massive quantities of clinical grade cells in xeno-free, feeder-free culture, utilizing methods of growing the cells in suspension. Furthermore, Accellta`s novel stem cell growth technologies aim to shift the use of stem cells for clinical and regenerative applications by providing large quantities of stem cells for high-throughput drug screening and development, providing raw material for the use of stem cells within therapeutic applications, and supporting the exponential growth of the 3D printing and the bio fabrication fields.
Hitachi Chemical has recently obtained the license for Accelltas latest media which is devoid of human/animal derived components and comprised only of artificially synthesized substances, offering a high level of safety that is key to the success of regenerative medicine. Compared to standard stem cell suspension cultures, in which cells are attached to a suspended substance (microcarrier) to make them float, the stem cell culturing method using this media is designed to enable larger scale cell culturing in suspended conditions without a microcarrier.
Regenerative medicine refers to treatment methods that involve transplanting cells derived from in-vitro cultures into the body to help restore organs or immune functions damaged by injury or disease. The development of treatment methods that make use of cancer immunotherapy(*2) and cell therapies using somatic stem cells(*3) and iPS cells(*4) continues to progress, and in recent years, clinical applications have notably increased, especially in cancer immunotherapy and somatic stem cell therapy. The regenerative medicine market is expected to develop rapidly with deregulation in Japan and the commercialization of iPS cells, while the global market in related industries is projected to begin expanding around 2025, reaching 5 trillion yen in 2030 and 15 trillion yen in 2050.(*5)
Hitachi Chemical announced its entry into the contracted cell manufacturing market for regenerative medicine(*6) in March 2016. Following this event, in May 2017 Hitachi Chemical completed its acquisition of the U.S.-based company now named Hitachi Chemical Advanced Therapeutics Solutions, LLC, and is leveraging that company`s PCT contract development and manufacturing services to provide a globally harmonized platform for its Regenerative Medicine Business Sector clients. Hitachi Chemical`s development and manufacturing facility in Yokohama City, Kanagawa Prefecture, providing the PCT platform, will begin full operation in April 2018 as the largest scale facility of its kind in Japan. U.S. facilities providing this service platform are already in operation in New Jersey and California.
With the Technology License Agreement signed with Accellta and the utilization of licensed technologies regarding Accellta`s stem cell culture media and culture methods, Hitachi Chemical now seeks to reinforce its technological strength in contracted cell manufacturing for regenerative medicine to achieve high quality, low-priced cell production. Looking ahead, Hitachi Chemical plans to customize culture media to match the products developed by pharmaceutical companies or other customers, offering added value to clients of the PCT regenerative medicine contract development and manufacturing services platform looking for integrated solutions. In addition to culture media, Hitachi Chemical also plans to take full advantage of its accumulated knowledge in the materials technology field to engage in the manufacture of expendable supplies, such as containers and reagents, and will accelerate the expansion of businesses related to regenerative medicine even further.
*1 Culture media are liquid or solid substances containing the necessary nutrients for
culturing cells, etc.
*2 Cancer immunotherapy is a method of cancer treatment that involves activating
and strengthening immune cells outside the body before returning them to the
body for the enhanced immune system to inhibit cancer cell proliferation.
*3 Somatic stem cells are stem cells found in different tissues of living bodies.
*4 "iPS" cells are a type of pluripotent cell that can proliferate like stem cells and
differentiate into various cells. This cell technology has a high potential for
applications in regenerative medicine.
*5 Source: Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (2013), Final Report Compiled by
the Study Group on Commercialization and Industrialization of Regenerative
*6 The business of contracted cell manufacturing for regenerative medicine involves
the manufacture and supply of cells on a contract basis with pharmaceutical
companies, hospitals, and research institutions for use in regenerative medicine.