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Otsuka invests in startup making iPS-derived blood platelets

Japanese drugmaker gains access to Megakaryon's game-changing tech

Megakaryon seeks to mass-produce iPS-derived platelets.

TOKYO -- Japanese drugmaker Otsuka Holdings is making inroads into blood products with an investment in compatriot Megakaryon, a venture that creates platelets out of induced pluripotent stem cells, in hopes of commercializing the technology by 2020.

Otsuka Pharmaceutical and Otsuka Pharmaceutical Factory have together shelled out 1 billion yen ($8.82 million) to acquire shares newly issued by Megakaryon, taking a roughly 10% stake.

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