ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronTitle ChevronEye IconIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailMenu BurgerPositive ArrowIcon PrintIcon SearchSite TitleTitle ChevronIcon Twitter
Pharmaceuticals

Astellas joins US startup to create tiny diagnostic implants

Tie-up furthers Japanese drugmaker's foray into medical devices

Astellas will work with Iota Biosciences to explore treatment options using ultrasmall implantable devices.   © Getty Images

TOKYO -- Japan's Astellas Pharma has partnered with an American startup to develop ultrasmall implantable devices that could be used to discover and treat conditions that are difficult to address with conventional pharmaceuticals.

The research will be based on the work of Iota Biosciences, which has created devices just a few millimeters long that can be implanted almost anywhere in the body, powered by ultrasound and free of bulky batteries.

Iota and Astellas envision implants based on this platform that can pick up electrical signals transmitted through nerves to monitor organs and tissues, as well as stimulate nerves or muscles to treat disease-affected areas directly, according to Friday's statement announcing the tie-up. Animal testing is slated to start in a few years.

Iota was established in 2017 to build on work by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley. Tokyo-based Astellas, which looks to turn medical devices into a new profit generator, made a small investment in the company in May 2018 through an American venture capital arm.

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this monthThis is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia;
the most dynamic market in the world.

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia

Get trusted insights from experts within Asia itself.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Get Unlimited access

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this month

This is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia; the most
dynamic market in the world
.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Try 3 months for $9

Offer ends October 31st

Your trial period has expired

You need a subscription to...

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers and subscribe

Your full access to the Nikkei Asian Review has expired

You need a subscription to:

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers
NAR on print phone, device, and tablet media