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ISCT announces MoU with The Forum for Innovative Regenerative Medicine (FIRM)

Tuesday, October 10, 2017  
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Mr. Yuzo Toda, Chairman, FIRM 
Dr. Satoshi Takahashi, ISCT Regional Vice-President, Asia

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ISCT announces Memorandum of Understanding with The Forum for Innovative Regenerative Medicine (FIRM)

Agreement promotes collaboration and access for global companies to expertise required for doing business in Japan

Vancouver, Canada October 10, 2017 - The International Society for Cellular Therapy (ISCT), the global professional society of clinicians, researchers, regulatory specialists, technologists and industry partners in the cell therapy sector, today announces the signature of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Forum for Innovative Regenerative Medicine (FIRM). FIRM, as an industry organization in Japan with close ties to local Japanese institutions, represents an important partner to guide international investment and partnerships in Japan. ISCT and FIRM are uniquely qualified to bring together international thought leaders in commercialization and market access issues related to cell therapy and regenerative medicine products in Japan and globally. The MoU advances ISCT and FIRM’s common mission of advancing cellular therapy research into safe and effective therapies for patients through the development of commercially viable therapies.

As a Global Society, ISCT members will be able to leverage this relationship to connect with the Japanese cell therapy market, an innovative leader in regulatory and business models. As a key deliverable of the MoU, FIRM will be an active participant in the ISCT Commercialization Committee, connecting ISCT’s global cell therapy companies and academic thought leaders with a global leader in pathways towards industrial development of cellular therapies.

“As the President of an International Society focused on cell based therapies, collaborations with organizations such as FIRM in Japan, are critical to broaden the applicability of cellular therapies on a global scale,” said Catherine Bollard, President, ISCT. “Connecting our global audience to key local stakeholders has always been a priority for ISCT.”

“The partnership between FIRM and ISCT represents a major milestone in supporting the access of new cell therapy products to patients globally, and in particular to Asia and Japan,” said Miguel Forte, MD, PhD, Chief Commercialization Officer, ISCT. “ISCT’s global reach and FIRM’s regional and Japanese focus will strongly support the access of cell therapy medicinal products for the benefit of patients with unmet medical needs. The ISCT Commercialization Committee welcomes this partnership with FIRM and looks forward to working together to facilitate the development and commercialization of cell therapy products.”

ISCT was represented at the signing ceremony in Tokyo, Japan by Satoshi Takahashi, MD, PhD, ISCT Regional Vice-President, Asia, and Associate Professor, Institute of Medical Science, University of Tokyo

“Cellular therapy, including hematopoietic stem cell transplant, has grown enormously in recent years with high technical and medical quality in Japan and it is expanding rapidly to other medical fields, with promising potential. On the other hand, new regulatory systems have been established over the last decade which can be a challenge to global partners due to unique differences in the Japanese model, said Dr. Takahashi. This is a great opportunity for ISCT members to step forward and collaborate with FIRM as good partners in the areas of cellular therapy and regenerative medicine in Japan.”“Collaboration of ISCT's global research network, especially a partnership with ISCT Commercialization Committee, and FIRM's focus in commercialization of regenerative and cellular products will really promote the transfer of worldwide academia's research results to the regenerative and cellular products, and facilitate much faster delivery of the products for the patients suffering from diseases without effective medical treatment,” said Yuzo Toda, Chairman, FIRM.

Established in 2011, The Forum for Innovative Regenerative Medicine (FIRM) was incorporated to quickly establish social systems to ensure safe and stable access to the benefits of research into regenerative medicine. FIRM seeks complete cures for the illnesses that many medical patients suffer from, but also strives to safeguard the national interest and contribute to international society.

FIRM’s mission is to pave the way for real, practical breakthroughs in regenerative medicine by pursuing broad, industry-led partnerships with governments, universities, and the private sector, by engaging with the media, for the purpose of building consensus on the commercialization process and the application of new regenerative medicine techniques in the community.

Established in 1992, the International Society for Cellular Therapy (ISCT) is a global society of clinicians, regulators, researchers, technologists and industry partners with a shared vision to translate cellular therapy into safe and effective therapies to improve patients’ lives worldwide.

ISCT is the global leader focused on pre-clinical and translational aspects of developing cell-based therapeutics, thereby advancing scientific research into innovative treatments for patients. ISCT offers a unique collaborative environment that addresses three key areas of translation: Academia, Regulatory and Commercialization. Through strong relationships with global regulatory agencies, academic institutions and industry partners, ISCT drives the advancement of research into standard of care.

Comprised of over 1,600 cell therapy experts across five geographic regions and representation from over 50 countries, ISCT members are part of a global community of peers, thought leaders and organizations invested in cell therapy translation. For more information about the society, key initiatives and upcoming meetings, please visit:


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