PhenoVista is a San Diego-based provider of disease-relevant cell-based assay services. Fujifilm Cellular Dynamics, a developer and manufacturer of human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), previously signed up to provide PhenoVista with industrial quantities of its portfolio of differentiated human cells and disease-relevant models.
Now, Fujifilm is providing financial support to its partner through its Life Sciences Corporate Venture Capital (LS-CVC) group. James Evans, CEO and co-founder of PhenoVista, explained the significance of the investment.
“Fujifilm’s investment will accelerate an exciting phase of growth for PhenoVista, further solidifying our position as the leader in imaging-based analysis of complex cell models,” said Evans. “Through this deepening relationship, PhenoVista’s current and future partners and collaborators will have early access to new cell models from Fujifilm, our long-trusted source of validated iPS cell models in the most relevant therapeutic areas, and we will continue to develop new models in both our bespoke and Ready-2-Go service platforms.”
PhenoVista and Fujifilm will collaborate on the development of high-content, imaging-based assays using human iPSC-derived differentiated cells. The partners envisage the HCS assay services supporting the monitoring of complex intracellular functions, such as cell health, mitochondrial health, and synapse formation, in individual human cells that are involved in disease progression.
The planned assay services will support the drug discovery activities of pharmaceutical companies. Fujifilm Cellular Dynamics formed its original partnership with PhenoVista to support its plans to expand its drug discovery business.
Investment to fund the work has come from a new part of the Fujifilm operation. The company set up its LS-CVC unit earlier this year to support cutting-edge biotechnology primarily through partnerships with early-stage companies. Fujifilm’s global venture capital investment group began life with ¥ 7b ($51m).