Kenji Osafune, a professor at the Center for iPS Cell Research and Application, Kyoto University, becomes a director
Notice of establishment of Rege Nephron Co., Ltd., a biotechnology company for the purpose of regenerative medicine of the kidney and treatment of renal disorders using iPS cells
[Background of establishment]
In recent years, the progress of pharmaceuticals and medical technology has been accelerating, but renal disease is an exception. Once the kidney started to be broken, the symptom continues to progress in a unilateral way, and it cannot be repaired by itself. Even now, there are few essential cures and effective suppressors of progress for renal disease, and when the disease becomes severe, there is no choice other than dialysis treatment and kidney transplantation, which is a critical medical problem.
In addition, the medical costs of dialysis treatment amount to 1.5 trillion yen per year, which puts a great strain on the national finance.
[Research and development on “regenerative medicine of the kidney” by Professor Osafune, Center for iPS Cell Research and Application, Kyoto University]
Kenji Osafune, a professor at the Center for iPS Cell Research and Application, Kyoto University, who is one of the founders and directors of our company, first identified nephron progenitor cells(NPCs), that do not exist in the adult body, from the embryonic kidney and succeeded in inducing highly efficient differentiation from iPS cells to NPCs.
We also demonstrated for the first time that NPCs reduced renal injury and suppressed renal fibrosis by implanting NPCs under sub-capsule of kidney in AKI model mice. RegeNephro was established with the aim of putting the research results of Professor Osafune into practical use. In addition to NPCs, we have manyt candidates for development, and we will strive to establish a global specialty pharmaceutical in the renal disease treatment area focusing on R&D and production.
Rege Nephron Co., Ltd.
Representative Director: Toshihiro Ishikiriyama
Directors: Toshihiro Ishikiriyama / Kenji Osafune / Shunjiro Sugimoto
Address: MIC blds. Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University, 53 Kawahara-cho, Shogoin, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto
Business: R & D, production and sales of regenerative medicine drugs, medical devices, etc.
[Profile of Toshihiro Ishikiriyama, President and CEO]
At GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), he led the merged company to growth as Managing Director, General Manager of Finance Division, Officer in charge of Business Development, and General Manager of Corporate Planning Division. After that, he established Japan Vaccine, a joint venture between GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Daiichi Sankyo Co., Ltd., and contributed to the expansion of the vaccine market as co-CEO. He has experience in managing and establishing pharmaceutical companies and biotechnology companies.
Incumbent: Outside Director of JCR Pharmaceuticals, Auditor & Supervisory Board Member of GSK
[Director and Professor, Center for iPS Cell Research and Application, Kyoto University Kenji Osafune Profile]
After graduating from the Faculty of Medicine, Kyoto University, he continues to work as a nephrologist while conducting research on regenerative medicine at the University of Tokyo, Harvard University, and Center for iPS Cell Research and Application, Kyoto University. Major achievements include the first identification of nephron progenitor cells, the highly efficient induction of intermediate mesoderm differentiation from human iPS cells, the first production of renal cells and three-dimensional kidney tissue, and the transplantation of nephron progenitor cells to model mice for renal disease. It was shown for the first time that renal damage was alleviated. He is a pioneer in renal regenerative medicine and the founder of RegeNephron.
Incumbent: Professor, Center for iPS Cell Research and Application, Kyoto University, Proliferation and Differentiation Mechanism Research Division (Osafune Laboratory)
[Inquiries regarding this matter]
Public Relations/Yamaguchi (Finance and Administration Division)