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Autologous Cultured Epidermis

Howard Green, M.D. Howard Green, M.D.
A world authority in the field of epithelial stem-cell biology, and the father of a method now known as Green's technique for culturing epidermis. The late Prof. Green developed a technique that involved culturing keratinocytes together with mouse fibroblasts to form a keratinocyte sheet in the 1970s. He was Emeritus George Higginson Professor of Cell Biology, Harvard Medical School, U.S.A.
NOTE) Dr. Howard Green passed away on October 31, 2015.

It was in the 1970s when I developed a technique for culturing epidermis, and in 1984, it attracted worldwide attention when the lives of two severely burned children were successfully saved by this technique, which was used to generate 5000-7000 cm2 of cultured epidermis for grafting from what little skin remained to them. More than 20 years have passed since then, and this technique is now starting to play a major role in advancing the development of regenerative medicine in Japan.
I long ago recognized the potential of the company and my impressions were confirmed by my visit to the J-TEC facility. I believe that the company should become a powerful force in the field of cell therapy/regenerative medicine and related fields, not only in Japan, but throughout the world.

Norio Kumagai, M.D., Ph.D. Norio Kumagai, M.D., Ph.D.
A world authority on the use of cultured epidermis in the clinical treatment. He is a professor emeritus at St. Marianna University, School of Medicine, JAPAN

Since 1980s, I have been studying the cultivation of epidermal tissue, which was developed in the laboratory by Prof. Howard Green at Harvard University in the United States. In 1985, I reported on the first use of the Green model of cultured epidermis in Japan, which was used in the treatment of severe burn injury. For the last quarter century, autologous and allogeneic cultured epidermis has been used in actual clinical practice for the treatment of nearly 600 cases, including burn injury, scarring, vitiligo, and birthmarks.
Special characteristics of autologous cultured epidermis are the ability to culture from a small epidermal structure to a large volume, and the ability to culture tissue from the patient’s own cells, significantly reducing the risk of tissue rejection when it is transplanted to the person who originally provided the starting cells. On the other hand, when culturing the cells of the actual patient, there are individual differences in the ability of the patient’s cells to proliferate and grow into viable tissue. We have found an excellent means to make up for these individual differences by using 3T3-J2 cells, which are a Green model of cultured epidermis.
In Japan, there are a very limited number of doctors who have actual experience using tissue engineered medical products. It is my hope that J-TEC will contribute to the creation of systems which will further spread the use of tissue engineered medical products. This can be done through active promotion of activities to enlighten others about this field, including providing information and training to doctors and medical institutions about cell extraction, the art of cell transplantation and the after-care of patients following a transplant, so that doctors can provide the best possible treatment for their patients.

Dr. Michele De LucaMichele De Luca, M.D.
A world authority in the field of stratified epithelial stem-cell biology, Prof. De Luca was the first person in Europe to carry out the transplantation of cultured epithelial stem cells. He is Professor of Biochemistry, Director of Center for Regenerative Medicine in the Department of Life Sciences, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy.

I have been providing advices on overall quality control for J-TEC's autologous cultured epidermis and autologous cultured corneal epithelium.
New developments in the technology for managing stem cells mean regenerative medicine is a field with a highly promising future, destined to grow into a major branch of medicine. It will doubtless be an important substitute for organ transplants, although it will never entirely replace them. Biotechnology companies such as J-TEC that are involved in both regenerative medicine and tissue engineering hold immense potential for growth. My research in collaboration with J-TEC on cultured epidermis that conserves stem cells and melanocytes has convinced me that the company's experienced and highly capable staff will be able to commercialize regenerative medicine successfully. J-TEC has an important role to play in regenerative medicine, both now and in future.

Autologous Cultured Cartilage

Mitsuo Ochi, M.D., Ph.D.Mitsuo Ochi, M.D., Ph.D.
A world authority on the use of regenerative medicine in the treatment of cartilage defects. Professor Ochi is a specialist in knee-joint surgery, sports medicine, and regenerative medicine. He started therapy for knee-joint cartilage defects using tissue-engineering technique in Japan in 1996. He has advised J-TEC on the development of autologous cultured cartilage. He is Orthopaedic Surgeon, and President of the Hiroshima University, Japan.

Autologous osteochondral plug transplants and other methods are currently being attempted as surgical treatments for articular cartilage defects in the load-bearing area of the knee, but all of these have both advantages and drawbacks. Our group has developed a culture method using autologous chondrocytes and atelocollagen that conserves the matrix-synthesizing ability of chondrocytes. Based on our experimental results, we have devised a surgical procedure for embedding atelocollagen and transplanting autologous cultured cartilage, and have begun its clinical application.
We have transferred the technology for this culture method to J-TEC so that patients of all ages suffering from cartilage damage, from children to the elderly, will be able to undergo this surgical procedure at any hospital throughout Japan. I believe that it is J-TEC's mission as one of the leading players in the field of regenerative medicine in Japan to improve the company's technology even further in order to offer high-quality, safe products to society. I anticipate that J-TEC will disseminate this transplant surgery for cartilage regeneration not only within Japan, but also to other Asian and Western countries and throughout the world.

Autologous Cultured Corneal Epithelium

Dr. Graziella Pellegrini Graziella Pellegrini, Ph.D.
A world authority in the field of epithelial cornea stem-cell biology, Prof. Pellegrini established the method of culturing human limbal stem cells for the restoration of damaged cornea incapable of repair through conventional treatment. She is Professor of Cell Biology, head of Cell Therapy Program of Center for Regenerative Medicine in the Department of Life Sciences, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy.

I have advised J-TEC on the cultivation of limbal stem cells for the purpose of restoring severely damaged corneal surfaces. Regenerative medicine involves the restoration of tissues and organs by means of cultured cells (cell therapy). The promising clinical results already achieved in the field of epithelial regeneration by means of cultivated epithelial stem cells have demonstrated the feasibility of this novel therapeutic approach. Similar results are expected relatively soon for the restoration of a variety of other tissues. Eventually, stem-cell-mediated regenerative medicine will prove to be one of the major advances in medicine and, in future, will probably reduce the need for organ and tissue donors.
For this reason, J-TEC is likely to play a major role in the development of regenerative medicine, at least in the field of epithelial regeneration. J-TEC has the proper technology for the cultivation of epithelial stem cells. The implementation of this technology at a commercial level will enable the clinical application of epithelial stem cells to move beyond the boundaries of academic development, and may therefore be expected to have a substantial impact on public healthcare.