Tokyo, Japan, October 1, 2014 - Tokyo Electron Limited (TEL) opened, through its European subsidiary Tokyo Electron Europe Limited (TEE), the company's open innovation centre at Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst (SBC) in the United Kingdom. The goal is to jointly, with ecosystem partners from academia and industry, develop standardised Smart Cell Processing Technologies for cell culture and inspection through open innovation. TEL has unique experience of automation and quality management frameworks from decades of innovation and development in the semiconductor industry; it is therefore well placed to lead on the transfer of these techniques into life sciences.
Smart Cell Processing Technologies will comprise hardware solutions in the form of equipment for culture and inspection of cells, as well as software algorithms and characterization methods. TEL installs a fully automated cell culture and inspection system in STC and orchestrates the technology eco-system partners - fifteen companies which will jointly develop Smart Cell Processing Technologies. This is expected to lead to the generation of a novel system with a shared database and quality management framework to track production processes and ensure cell quality.
TEL will also develop technologies to quantify and standardise cell quality with the National Institute for Biological Standards and Control (NIBSC), as well as stem cell researchers in UK academia.
TEL ultimately aims to develop a vital platform for the UK cell therapy industry, working with ecosystem partners, such as the Cell Therapy Catapult and Roslin Cells. The platform is expected to be evaluated for clinical applications in multiple manufacturing sites.
"Our long term goal is to evolve smart cell processing technologies to a fully-automated smart cell factory that can economically and safely produce standardized clinical grade iPS/ES cells and iPS/ES cell-derived cell products" explains Mr. Yoshio Kinoshita, project leader and Director of TEL, and continues "We realise from our experience of the semiconductor industry that this is best achieved in an open innovation environment, and therefore it was natural to locate the STC at SBC."
"We are overwhelmed by all the support and guidance we have received from various UK organisations and researchers to establish the STC. With its reputation for high quality scientific research and growing cell therapy industry, the UK is the ideal place for us to site our exciting new initiative. The input of centres of excellence, such as the Cell Therapy Catapult, have been a driving force to make this happen" comments Bob Honda, Director of STC and TEE.
Keith Thompson, CEO of the Cell Therapy Catapult commented, "Tokyo Electron's decision to locate its Stem Cell Technology Centre in the UK is a vindication of the world-class cell therapy work being carried out here. The availability of exciting new technologies such as Tokyo Electron's automated smart cell system will catalyse the development of new therapies for patient benefit, and we look forward to working with the consortium."
"Tokyo Electron's new automation technology presents exciting opportunities to develop future cell therapies with enhanced reproducibility and safety. The new Tokyo Electron UK base, close to NIBSC, will greatly facilitate our collaboration with them on new characterization methodologies" commented Dr. Glyn Stacey, PhD, Head of Cell Biology in the Division of Advanced Therapies at NIBSC and Director for the UK Stem Cell Bank.
"We share Tokyo Electron's vision that smart cell processing technology will be essential for the large scale production of cells for therapy and the need for open innovation. Our development programmes will advance faster through collaboration with the STC especially as it is located in the UK" commented Aidan Courtney, CEO of Roslin Cells.
"Tokyo Electron's Stem Cell Technology Centre is a very exciting initiative and it's a great validation of our open innovation ethos to have it located at SBC. This is an area of interest for us, via our tenants and networks, and we look forward to participating in the development of these new processing technologies." commented Dr. Martino Picardo, CEO at SBC.
Notes to Editors:
About Tokyo Electron
Tokyo Electron Limited (TEL) is a leading supplier of innovative semiconductor and flat panel display production equipment worldwide. All of TEL's semiconductor and flat panel display production equipment product lines maintain high market shares in their respective global segments.
TEL has located research & development, manufacturing, sales, and service locations all over the world. https://www.tel.com
Tokyo Electron Limited
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About Roslin Cells
Roslin Cells is a leader in the development and production of stem cells for research and the production of cell therapies. The company is based at the Edinburgh BioQuarter where it operates state-of-the-art clean rooms for the production of new cell therapies. This enables the company to provide research and clinical grade iPS cell services to prominent industry, academic and clinical researchers who are breaking new ground in cellular models for research and drug discovery.
About Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst (SBC)
Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst is the UK's first open innovation bioscience campus, pioneering a unique culture to drive early stage bioscience technology and company development, and building a thriving community. Consisting of an Incubator, an Accelerator and a Hub, covering office and networking space, the facility houses a range of companies, from virtual and start-up firms to those which are more established, as well as other organisations.
About the Cell Therapy Catapult (CTC)
The Cell Therapy Catapult is a centre of translational excellence for cell therapy and regenerative medicine. Its vision is for the UK to be a global leader in the development, delivery and commercialisation of cell therapy, making it a location for business start-up and growth. Based at Guy's Hospital, the centre takes products into early clinical trials, providing clinical, technical, manufacturing and regulatory expertise and access to the NHS.
About the National Institute for Biological Standards and Control (NIBSC)
The National Institute for Biological Standards and Control (NIBSC) is a global leader in the standardisation and control of biological medicines. It is one of three centres within the UK Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, an executive agency of the Department of Health, which has responsibility, through its MHRA centre, for regulating all medicines and medical devices in the UK by ensuring they work and are acceptably safe.