Shimadzu Subsidiary Invests in Biotech Venture MiCAN Technologies Expanding Clinical Business by Focusing on Cell-Related Business

Shimadzu Diagnostics Corporation (formerly Nissui Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., hereinafter “SDC”), a Shimadzu subsidiary with development and manufacturing capabilities in the clinical sector, has invested approximately 50 million yen in MiCAN Technologies, Inc. (Head Office: Kyoto City, hereinafter “MiCAN”), a biotechnology venture specializing in regenerative medicine, in addition to approximately 20 million yen invested in MiCAN in 2019.

In 2019, MiCAN developed Mylc cells, the world’s first white blood cells from human that can be grown in culture. Developed from blood or iPS cells, Mylc cells offer a higher sensitivity to stimuli (suited to drug response testing), a homogeneous cell population with identical genetic information, and low production costs.

Pyrogen testing is essential to the field of regenerative medicine. The test determines whether pharmaceutical products and vaccines are free of contamination from fever-inducing substances (pyrogens) found in bacteria. Laws in many countries require pyrogen testing on every batch of production before shipment. Pyrogen testing is currently performed by animal testing in rabbits, but this practice is expected to be replaced by a cell-based test (the monocyte activation test, hereinafter “MAT”) based on forthcoming revisions of pharmacopoeia and other regulatory changes in Europe and Japan. In 2021, MiCAN developed MAT procedure using Mylc cells (MylcMAT method). With this additional investment, MiCAN will establish a stable production system for Mylc cells. Taking advantage of SDC’s ability to develop culture media for specific cells, SDC and MiCAN will commercialize a simple MylcMAT kit consisting of Mylc cells, test reagents, and cell culture media, then jointly market this kit in Japan and Europe.

Shimadzu Group will continue to focus on cell-related business and work with MiCAN to expand global sales of test kits based on Mylc cell technology. In the clinical diagnostics business, Shimadzu Group is also exploring working with MiCAN to develop infectious disease test reagents used in PCR testing systems and liquid chromatograph mass spectrometers.

MiCAN Overview

MiCAN Technologies, Inc.

Representative Kazuo Miyazaki, Chief Executive Officer
Address Kyoto University Katsura Venture Plaza, 1-36, Goryo-ohara, Nishikyo-ku, Kyoto, Japan
Description of business Blood cell-like cells for research use created using regenerative medical technology.
Evaluation services for pharmaceutical development based on blood cell-like cells.
Contract testing services as alternatives to animal experiments.
Established July 2016

SDC Overview

Shimadzu Diagnostics Corporation

Representative Tokuya Ono, Representative Director, President, Chief Executive Officer
Address 20th floor, Ueno Frontier Tower, 3-24-6, Ueno, Taito-ku, Tokyo, Japan
Description of business Production, sale, and import/export of culture media and diagnostic reagents for medical and research institutions.
Production, sale, and import/export of culture media and industrial reagents for industrial facilities.
Production, sale, and import/export of culture media and reagents for the culture, storage, and testing of living cells and tissues, including human cells.
Established April 6, 1935
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