TOKYO, July 12 (KUNA) -- The Japanese government plans to assist
private-sector companies in exporting as early as 2015 regenerative medicine
technology and related equipment to Qatar and Saudi Arabia, a major business
daily here reported Friday.
Exporting regenerative medicine involves licensing treatments to local
medical institutions and selling cell-derived products, as well as equipment
for culturing cells and other devices. With substantial numbers of upper-class
households in those countries, demand is expected to grow, the Nikkei Shimbun
As a first step, the government will promote Terumo Corp.'s technology to
grow heart muscles, the newspaper said, adding that exports will be handled by
Medical Excellence Japan, a three-way partnership formed in April by industry,
government and academia.
Terumo has been conducting clinical trials since last year for the
treatment, which involves taking cells from a patient, culturing them outside
the body, then processing the cells into sheets and applying them to the
surface of the heart muscle.
Separately, the government aims to pass this fall bills shortening the
screening period for regenerative medicine products. It will also negotiate
with overseas authorities to simplify local approval processes for products
already cleared in Japan.
Japan has a trade deficit of almost JPY 2 trillion (USD 20 billion) in the
medical field, a trend Prime Minister Shinzo Abe aims to reverse by supporting
The government hopes to leverage Japan's advanced technologies in
regenerative medicine to tap overseas demand, the report said.
The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry estimates that the global
market for regenerative medicine will grow from JPY 340 billion (USD 3.4
billion) in 2012 to JPY 53 trillion (USD 530 billion) by 2050. (end)
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