Healios undertakes research and development to provide RPE cell drugs made from differentiated iPS cells in the practical application of new treatment methods.
Based on our expertise with methods developed by researchers from RIKEN for the differentiation of RPE cells, we have succeeded in applying our own unique knowhow to establish an effective culturing method. Our Kobe laboratory has more than 20 staff, including an ophthalmologist and three PhDs, who research the formulation of these cells for surgery and the administering of drugs to people affected with age-related macular degeneration, while at the same time, developing safe and efficient production methods.
Since 2014, we have also been working with Osaka University in an industry-academic collaboration to further research and development of iPS cell-related technologies through a joint research chair in cell manufacturing system engineering.
The overall research and development base for iPSC regenerative medicine has been expanding with the publication of related research results by numerous independent research entities. The Healios policy is to focus its efforts on pursuing promising work and conducting related joint research with the aim of developing practical applications. Based on this policy we have already begun joint research with Yokohama City University on human organs and, as a platform technology for various organs, plan to expand beyond the ophthalmologic field into research and development of treatment methods for other organs, the goal of which is to cause the least damage to the human body and prevent immunological rejection.
Healios has been developing an ophthalmic surgical adjuvant for enhanced safety of ophthalmic surgery. It has granted an exclusive license to D.O.R.C. Dutch Ophthalmic Research Center (International) B.V. (“DORC”) for territories excluding Japan. DORC produces and has been selling the surgical adjuvant in the EU since September 2010 as a product compliant with EU safety standards and displaying the CE marking.
The product is a new ophthalmic surgical adjuvant, which has been developed using a dye with high stainability discovered by a research team at Kyushu University and contains Brilliant Blue G-250 as the primary component.
Domestically, we are moving forward with preparations for trials, including building a cooperative system with other related companies.