Today, we announced that a service agreement has been signed with The Jikei University in Japan. Under the agreement, AGC Biologics will assume a technology transfer and feasibility study for a drug product focused on the treatment of Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis at our center of Cell and Gene Excellence in Milan.
In the feasibility study, scientists at our Milan site will focus on identifying proof of concept and viability for developing a prototype for an exosome-based treatment for IPF derived from bronchial epithelial cells. Current research at The Jikei University School of Medicine has revealed extracellular vesicles extracted from a bronchial epithelial cell can potentially play a vital role in IPF pathogenesis. If the feasibility study is successful, pre-clinical studies may commence in the coming year.
“The emerging field of exosomes has the potential to become an important part of the cell and gene industry. We welcome the opportunity to help further the important work of The Jikei University in Japan, a historic research and medical institute in the field of medicine,” said Luca Alberici, General Manager of AGC Biologics Milan. “This partnership demonstrates AGC Biologics' ability to offer the scientific ingenuity and support researchers and developers need as they explore new therapies and methods within this field.”
Exosomes have shown the promise to make cell and gene therapies more commercially viable for large populations because of their potential to provide a targeted approach to drug delivery. AGC Biologics' Milan location has 30 years of experience in the cell and gene field and expertise with complex advanced therapy projects. The core team has guided three products from development to commercial stages.
“Our research is specifically designed to discover how we can better understand and treat IPF, a condition that can drastically impact lung health. With only two current treatments on the market, it would be a paradigm shifting change to create a new option for patients using the power of exosomes. We look forward to partnering with the talented team at AGC Biologics Milan to explore feasibility,” said Principal Investigator, Dr. Yu Fujita from The Jikei University School of Medicine.