The company, called PuRec, is located in Shimane University in Japan’s Shimane prefecture.
Jointly funded with JPY80m ($662,700) by the local San-in Godo Bank, the Gogin Capital and the local investment arm of Regional Economy Vitalization Corporation of Japan, PuRec will manufacture and sell ultra high-purity MSCs, or rapidly expanding cells (RECs), to global pharmaceutical companies and research institutes for basic research and clinical studies.
Developed by professor Yumi Matsuzaki of Shimane University Faculty of Medicine, RECs are “1000 times more effective” than the average MSCs in terms of proliferation and differentiation potential, according to Shimane University.
“Our RECs are ideally for developing treatments for osteogenesis imperfecta caused by hypophosphatasia, graft vs host disease and neonatal chronic lung disease,” Prof Matsuzaki, now also director at PuRec, told Biopharma-reporter.
She said the REC manufacturing facility is currently under construction, and will start operation after April, but REC samples are available upon request.
Shimane University is experienced in MSCs clinical studies, during which its researchers successfully formed bones for a child with achondroplasia.
MSCs –related research has been popular among Japanese pharmaceuticals and academic institutes. In December, Osaka-based two pharma companies - Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma and the regenerative therapy provider Sanbio - announced their joint project SB623, an allogenic cell therapy for ischemic stroke to improve motor abilities, started to recruit volunteers for Phase IIb studies in the US. SB623 uses MSCs derived from bone marrow fluid of healthy individuals.
In July, Hyogo prefecture-based JCR Pharmaceuticals, a biotech company that
develops bio therapies for rare diseases like lysosomal shortage diseases, announced its joint research with Nippon Medical School proved that MSCs could improve Duchenne muscular dystrophy symptoms.