Daiichi Sankyo, Mitsubishi UFJ Capital and Tokyo Institute of Technology Announce Open Innovation Research on iPS Cell-derived Insulin Producing Cells in Japan

Tokyo, Japan (January 10, 2019) - Daiichi Sankyo Company, Limited (Representative Director, President and COO: Sunao Manabe; head office: Chuo-ku, Tokyo; hereinafter, "Daiichi Sankyo"), Mitsubishi UFJ Capital Co., Ltd. (President: Muneki Handa, head office: Chuo-ku, Tokyo; hereafter, "Mitsubishi UFJ Capital") and Tokyo Institute of Technology (President: Kazuya Masu; Meguro-ku, Tokyo; hereinafter, "Tokyo Tech") today announced that they will commence open innovation research ("the research") with the aim of creating insulin producing cells from iPS cells for use in regenerative medicine and cell therapy.

The Kume and Shiraki Lab at the School of Life Science and Technology, Tokyo Tech, has developed a technique to produce pancreatic β cells (insulin secreting cells in the pancreas) derived from human iPS cells at a high rate. It has been found that this technique enables creation of iPS cell-derived insulin producing cells similar to the body's own pancreatic β cells in combination with Daiichi Sankyo technology. The research will improve the performance and manufacturing process for such iPS cell-derived insulin producing cells, aiming at practical application as an innovative therapy for severe type I diabetes*1, for which blood glucose management is difficult with conventional insulin therapy, and in which high unmet medical needs exist.

To carry out the research, a new company called OiDE BetaRevive, Inc. (head office: Chuo-ku, Tokyo; hereinafter, "BetaRevive") has been established and will be wholly funded by the OiDE Fund Investment Limited Partnership ("OiDE Fund")*2 operated by Mitsubishi UFJ Capital.

If the pre-agreed goals of the three-year joint research are achieved, Daiichi Sankyo will purchase all of the stock of BetaRevive in order to continue research for the project on its own. After a successful product launch, Daiichi Sankyo will pay considerations to Tokyo Tech in the form of royalties. 

The research is the 4th OiDE Fund investment, and Daiichi Sankyo and Mitsubishi UFJ Capital plan to continue to carry out further open innovation projects to develop new drug discovery platform technologies using the OiDE fund.

*1 Severe Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes develops when insulin-producing β cells in the pancreas are destroyed for some reason. Insulin formulations are used for its treatment. However, good glycemic control cannot be achieved in some patients with markedly impaired endogenous insulin secretion. Such patients may experience repeated severe hypoglycemic attacks leading to worsening of QOL and prognosis. Although islet transplantation is considered to be effective in those cases, a new therapy is desired due to the issue of shortage of donors.

*2 OiDE (Open innovation for the Development of Emerging technologies) Fund

A fund jointly established by Mitsubishi UFJ Capital and Daiichi Sankyo in 2013, and operated by Mitsubishi UFJ Capital.

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Contact Information

Corporate Communications Department,

Daiichi Sankyo Company, Limited

Media Inquiries TEL: 03-6225-1126

Investor Inquiries TEL: 03-6225-1125

Planning Division, Mitsubishi UFJ Capital Co., Ltd.

TEL: 03-5205-8581

Public Relations Section, Office of Public Engagement, Tokyo Institute of Technology

TEL: 03-5734-2975

E-mail: media@jim.titech.ac.jp

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