Investment will Accelerate Development of New High-Content Screening Assay Services Using Differentiated iPSCs
TOKYO, December 13, 2022 – FUJIFILM Corporation (President and CEO, Representative Director: Teiichi Goto) today announces its investment in PhenoVista Biosciences (PhenoVista), a contract research organization (CRO) and leading provider of both custom and off-the-shelf imaging-based assay services based in San Diego, CA. Fujifilm and PhenoVista will accelerate the development of new high-content screening (HCS) assay services using FUJIFILM iCell® differentiated induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and PhenoVista’s cutting-edge imaging technologies. This investment is from the Life Sciences Corporate Venture Capital (LS-CVC) strategic investment fund.
This investment builds upon the existing strategic alliance between FUJIFILM Corporation subsidiary, FUJIFILM Cellular Dynamics, Inc., a leading global developer and manufacturer of human iPSCs, and PhenoVista. FUJIFILM Cellular Dynamics aims to further expand its drug-discovery business through this alliance initiated in November 2021 by collaboratively developing high-content, imaging-based assays using human iPSC-derived differentiated cells, which are highly relevant biological systems. These HCS assay services using iPSCs are capable of monitoring complex intracellular functions, such as cell health, mitochondrial health, and synapse formation in individual human cells that are involved in disease progression, supporting pharmaceutical companies in their drug-discovery processes.
The new funding enables Fujifilm to access PhenoVista’s cutting-edge, imaging technologies and expertise and further strengthens the companies’ existing alliance. The new investment will fund the creation of new, off-the-shelf Ready-2-Go Assay Services at PhenoVista using a broad range of FUJIFILM Cellular Dynamics’ iCell offerings. This new assay platform is designed to accelerate the discovery and development of safe, efficacious therapies. In addition, Fujifilm and PhenoVista will coordinate marketing to broaden market adoption of new iPSC-based, discovery research tools.
“Fujifilm is committed to solving societal issues through the creation of new values from the alignment with partners that offer technological capabilities for a strategic fit with our life sciences portfolio,” said Takatoshi Ishikawa, general manager of Life Sciences Strategy Headquarters, FUJIFILM Corporation. “The investment through the LS-CVC fund consolidates the partnership with PhenoVista to accelerate pioneering the field of iPSC-derived services, which helps ensure that more patients get new treatments they need faster.”
“Fujifilm brings a wealth of expertise in imaging to the life sciences arena, and in collaboration with PhenoVista, will continue to help our shared customers with their efficient drug-discovery processes through the combination of highly relevant, human cell types and powerful HCS capabilities and experience,” said Tomoyuki Hasegawa, president and CEO, FUJIFILM Cellular Dynamics, Inc. “This investment will continue to support the growth and expansion of our iCell business in addition to our advanced offering of cell applications by growing customer access to HCS assays using our iPSCs.”
“PhenoVista is truly honored to be a recipient of Fujifilm’s LS-CVC investment fund,” said James G. Evans, CEO and co-founder of PhenoVista Biosciences. “We take pride in our consistent delivery of high-quality, physiologically relevant data, and we have built trust with our clients and collaborators by successfully delivering on difficult projects that are typically outside the capabilities of other research organizations. We are greatly appreciative of Fujifilm’s recognition of our dedication to providing world-class discovery services to our clients. 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. 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.”
Launched in February 2022, LS-CVC is a newly established group within Fujifilm’s Life Sciences Strategy Headquarters in Tokyo. Fujifilm is initially investing 7B¥ (about 50 million USD) to start the fund, targeting cutting-edge biotechnology primarily through partnerships with early-stage companies around the world.
About FUJIFILM Cellular Dynamics, Inc.
FUJIFILM Cellular Dynamics, Inc. is a leading developer and manufacturer of human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) utilized in drug discovery, contract development and manufacturing services, and cell therapies. FUJIFILM Cellular Dynamics is using its expertise in iPSC technologies to develop robust cell-therapeutics products to address unmet medical needs in areas such as age-related macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa. For its partners, FUJIFILM Cellular Dynamics utilizes its iPSC platform to advance the progress of therapeutic candidates in the clinic and provides contract development and manufacturing (CDMO) services. In addition to cell therapy, FUJIFILM Cellular Dynamics also offers life-science research tools, including the company’s inventoried iCell® products, which are available in almost any cell type and are sourced from multiple cell lines which can be applied for target identification as well as toxicity testing. The company also offers custom cell services and cell banking. FUJIFILM Cellular Dynamics’ goal is to leverage the vast utility of iPSCs to advance human health and improve the quality of life for patients around the world. For more information, please visit: https://www.fujifilmcdi.com/
About FUJIFILM Holdings Corporation
FUJIFILM Corporation is an operating company of FUJIFILM Holdings Corporation. FUJIFILM Holdings Corporation, Tokyo, leverages its depth of knowledge and proprietary core technologies to deliver Value from Innovation in our products and services in the business segments of healthcare, materials, business innovation, and imaging. Our relentless pursuit of innovation is focused on providing social value and enhancing the lives of people worldwide. Fujifilm is committed to responsible environmental stewardship and good corporate citizenship. For more information about Fujifilm’s Sustainable Value Plan 2030, click here. For the year ended March 31, 2022, the company had global revenues of approximately 2.5 trillion yen (21 billion $USD at an exchange rate of 122 yen/dollar). For more information, please visit: www.fujifilmholdings.com.