Tokyo, Japan – Mar 3rd – CellFiber Co., Ltd., a biotech company providing plug-and-play biomanufacturing solutions with its unique cell culture platform technology, announced an outsourced testing agreement with Orizuru Therapeutics Inc., which develops regenerative medical products through cell transplantation and support for drug discovery research and development of regenerative medicine research infrastructure by utilizing iPS cell-related technologies. The agreement aims to take advantage of CellFiber technology to enhance and accelerate Orizuru Therapeutics’ development of iPS cell-derived regenerative medicines.
Regenerative medicine is expected to offer new treatments for patients with intractable diseases around the world. Despite the effort made, cells that are used in these treatments are still mainly manufactured by manual labor. Thus, restructuring the manufacturing method is an urgent issue to be solved.
CellFiber is a startup founded out of University of Tokyo with the world’s first technology “CellFiberTM” which consists of encapsulating cells inside an alginate tube. Currently, CellFiber is working on the development of cell mass production technology for medical applications. The technology enables “large-scale culture” of quality cells at high densities.
Orizuru is an R&D-oriented company specializing in the development of iPS cell-derived regenerative medicine products and the utilization of iPS cell technology. While aiming for major treatments of both severe chronic heart failure and brittle diabetes, it also supports the findings of drugs through new drug discovery approaches. Furthermore, Orizuru, has developed a regenerative medicine research platform for a stable supply of iPS cell products at a lower cost.
CellFiberTM provides a permeable, hollow, and uniform gel tube with cells inside. This hair-thin tube protects the cells in culture. It also prevents large cell aggregations. Therefore, compared to conventional culture methods, cells are kept in good conditions for a longer period.
This highly versatile technology can be applied to both floating and adherent cells. To date, the technology has been evaluated by enterprises and academia in Japan and overseas. CellFiber Co., Ltd. has already started the development of a GMP-compliant manufacturing machine and aims to launch into the market by 2024. By introducing the machine into a production line, the manufacturing process can be simplified, labor can be reduced, and physical space can be greatly shrunk.
Outsourcing Testing Agreement
Last year, Orizuru Therapeutics conducted an experiment using CellFiberTM to culture their iPS cells at small scale. The result was positive for both proliferation and differentiation. Under this new agreement, Orizuru Therapeutics aims to improve the efficiency of cell expansion and to expand the culture to an equivalent of manufacturing scale using CellFiberTM.