TOKYO -- Fujifilm Holdings is expanding into a different branch of regenerative medicine using stem cells found in bone marrow and fatty tissue .
Mesenchymale stem cells are considered ideal for treating bone and muscle conditions. Those treatments are expected to be developed in addition to those that make use of somatic cells and induced pluripotent (iPS) stem cells.
Clinical research is set to begin sometime this year. Mesenchymal stem cells taken from patients will be grown and used to treat damaged cartilage and meniscuses, among other maladies.
Fujifilm is also aiming to eventually develop treatment that will utilize cells from healthy donors, and not just from patients themselves. That way, there will be a supply of ready-made tissue at hand, instead of waiting weeks or months growing new tissue.
For treatments using iPS cells, clinical trials targeting patients suffering from eye problems, heart ailments and neurological disorders are set to begin by 2019. They will be done through a U.S. startup that was made into a subsidiary last spring.
The global regenerative medicine market will grow to 38 trillion yen ($336 billion) by 2050, estimates by Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry show. Fujifilm aims to become an integrated manufacturer in the field.