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Fujifilm collaborate with Bayer on developing cancer drug

Immunotherapy drug based on cheaper stem cell-based for cancer patients being tested by Fujifilm and Bayer

Fujifilm Holdings has jointly developed an immune-based cancer therapy using induced pluripotent stem cells with German drugmaker Bayer.

Stem cell therapies are currently costly and require time to prescribe. By using a new technique in which iPS cells arrive from someone other than the person, the Japan-German partnership intends to overcome these hurdles. Cells from patients themselves are used in the standard technique.

The businesses are planning to launch clinical trials as soon as March 2022 year-end. If proven effective, the new therapy would widen cancer treatment choices.

A portion of the agreement, Bayer participated in Century Therapeutics, a joint venture between a Fujifilm subsidiary and Versant Venture Management, a healthcare-focused U.S. venture capital firm. Fujifilm intends to create Century a division under the investment technique, although the businesses have not disclosed their share shares in Century.

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The businesses will use a technology called chimeric antigen receptor-T cell therapy to create an immune-based cancer treatment that genetically technicians cultivated stem cells to enhance their capacity to combat cancer cells. Cells are grown and passed into nurses through intravenous drips in CAR-T cell therapy.

Approximately $250 million has been budgeted for the venture, almost 90% of which will be placed by Bayer, which has rendered anticancer medicines its primary target. The Fujifilm subsidiary will supply and manufacture the drug using iPS cells. In two to three years, the businesses are planning to begin clinical trials.

By producing medicine, Fujifilm seeks to create a new source of income. It also considers higher yields to emerge from its Century venture if the therapy eventually increases the corporate value of the subsidiary.

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