Tosoh Invests in Platelet Manufacturing Venture AdipoSeeds Co., Ltd.

Tokyo, Japan— As part of its intensive investment program in new growth areas, Tosoh announced on December 20, 2017 that it is underwriting a third-party allocation of shares and increasing its investment stake in AdipoSeeds Co., Ltd. to develop regenerative medicine.

AdipoSeeds was established in July 2016 by specially appointed associate professor Yumiko Matsubara of the Clinical and Translational Research Center at Keio University School of Medicine, and Yasuo Ikeda, Keio professor emeritus with the goal of commercializing technology for artificially manufacturing platelets1 from mesenchymal stem cells derived from subcutaneous adipose tissue.

The project’s objectives are to use platelets that can be manufactured reliably in vitro for two applications: platelet transfusion substitutes, and promotion of wound healing. AdipoSeeds will engage in the management of intellectual property and marketing to companies in Japan and internationally with the goal of early application and commercialization of these technologies. Dr. Matsubara’s research group will continue basic research and development efforts in this technology domain. From its pre-investment phase, AdipoSeeds has received support and investment from Keio Innovation Initiative, a venture capital organization set up by Keio University.

Tosoh is advancing research and development efforts toward the industrialization of regenerative medicine through the application of separation and purification, microfabrication, and protein modification technologies that it has developed over many years of research. Through joint efforts with Dr. Matsubara’s research group, Tosoh will focus on R&D that supports technologies with a view toward the commercialization of platelet manufacturing.

Moreover, Tosoh’s investment in AdipoSeeds facilitates the acceleration of its initiatives related to the development of technologies that support regenerative medicine. Tosoh will also coordinate the activities of Dr. Matsubara’s research group and those of AdipoSeeds to contribute to progress toward commercialization of regenerative medicine.

Platelet transfusion substitution

Blood platelets provided by the Japan Red Cross are used in transfusion therapy2 for patients suffering from low blood platelet levels (thrombocytopenia) as a consequence of blood disease, the use of anti-cancer agents, or in cases of hemorrhage. However, there are potential issues concerning the stable supply of transfusion platelets: first, the supply of platelets is entirely dependent on donated blood; and second, platelets have a short shelf life of only four days. And while the number of patients who will require platelet transfusion is expected to increase as Japanese society continues to age, the number of younger blood donors is on the decline; blood platelet preparations will not be available in sufficient volume. It is in this context that research toward commercialization is proceeding in the development of substitutes for transfusion platelets.

Promotion of wound healing

It is widely known that wounds can receive an application or injection of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) separated from the patient’s own venous blood to promote wound healing. However, PRP harvesting methods have not been standardized, and as such it is currently difficult to obtain PRP that is consistent in quality. Furthermore, given the difficulty of collecting large quantities of blood, broad application of this therapy remains an issue. This initiative aims to overcome these problems by consistently supplying manufactured platelets that have been subjected to the strictest possible quality control.

About AdipoSeeds Co., Ltd.

Company Name:  AdipoSeeds Co., Ltd. 
Managing director:  Hiroshi Miyazaki 
Location: Minato-ku, Tokyo
Established: July 2016
Description of business:
Research, development, manufacture, and sale of products and new drugs for regenerative medicine 

1 Blood platelets are a type of cellular component found in blood. Platelets primarily support the formation of blood clots, and contribute to the hemostatic process and promotion of wound healing. Platelets are manufactured in the bone marrow from hematopoietic stem cells.

2 Transfusion therapy makes use of concentrated platelet preparations obtained by harvesting platelets from blood using an apheresis machine. Platelets are blood cells that have a hemostatic function. Transfusion therapy is utilized when bleeding is likely, or when bleeding has occurred due to a decrease in the functionality of, or number of platelets.


TOSOH CORPORATION

WHO WE ARE

Tosoh is the parent of the Tosoh Group, which comprises over 100 companies worldwide and a multiethnic workforce of over 12,000 people and generated net sales of ¥743.0  billion (US$6.9 billion at the average rate of ¥108.35 to the US dollar) in fiscal 2017, ended March 31, 2017.

WHAT WE DO

Tosoh is one of the largest chlor-alkali manufacturers in Asia. The company supplies the plastic resins and an array of the basic chemicals that support modern life. Tosoh’s petrochemical operations supply ethylene, polyethylene, and functional polymers, while its advanced materials business serves the global semiconductor, display, and solar industries. Tosoh has also pioneered sophisticated bioscience systems that are used for the monitoring of life-threatening diseases. In addition, Tosoh demonstrates its commitment to a sustainable future in part by manufacturing a variety of eco-products.

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DISCLAIMER

This document may contain forward-looking statements, including, without limitation, statements concerning product development, objectives, goals, and commercial introductions, which involve certain risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking statements are identified through the use of the word anticipates and other words of similar meaning. Actual results may differ significantly from the results expressed in forward-looking statements.

For more information, please contact

 

Jeff Markley
International Corporate Development
Tosoh Corporation

jeff.markley@tosoh.com
Tel: +81 3 5427 5118
Fax: +81 3 5427 5198