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News Releases 2007
ITOCHU Corporation gains ground in the field of Regeneration Therapy
-Cell Therapy, Drug-discovery Support-
November 30, 2007
ITOCHU Corporation ("ITOCHU") has formed a capital and business alliance with ReproCELL Incorporated.("ReproCELL"), a biotech venture company (based in Minato-ku, Tokyo, JAPAN, Mr. Chikahumi Yokoyama as CEO) , focusing in the field of Stem Cell Technology.
ReproCELL is a venture company, providing (i) the drug-discovery support services and (ii) the development of various applications based on the most advanced Stem Cell Technology centered around (a) Embryonic Stem Cell (*1) developed by Prof. Nakatsuji of the Institute of Medical Science, Kyoto University and (b) somatic stem cell technology (*2) developed by Prof. Nakauchi of the Institute of Medical Science, The University of Tokyo .
Among ReproCELL's businesses, the toxicity test for candidate substance of new drug using cardiac muscle cell derived from monkey's Embryonic Stem Cell will attract the demand from pharmaceutical companies as such test (i) confirms the toxicity of the candidate substance before conducting the pre-clinical trial (animal experiment) and (ii)enables (a) the cost reduction, (b)shortening of the screening period and (c) improving the screening accuracy of clinical trial in the field of new drug development.
ITOCHU will assist ReproCELL to develop its business both in Japan and abroad, viewing in the future to commercially operate in the cell therapy field.
In our mid-term business plan titled "Frontier+ 2008", ITOCHU uphold the life-care, infrastructure, advanced-technology, environment and energy fields as its "New Fields to Challenge". ITOCHU intend to incrementally make strategic moves in these fields which will lead to profits in the future.
- (*1) Embryonic Stem Cell (ES Cell): ES Cell is derived from an early stage embryo, and it can self-multiplicate and change into any cells and tissues in body.
- (*2) Somatic Stem Cell: The stem cell remaining after ES Cell is differentiated to form cell and organ. Blood-forming stem cell, some part of it can self-multiplicate.