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HOME >> Investor Relations >> Top Message >> Message Archive (June 26, 2013)

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To All of Our Investors - June 26, 2013 -

I was very pleased to be able to exchange opinions with our shareholders at the annual shareholders meeting and the business briefing held on June 25. Thank you very much.

First Case of a JACC Transplant

Yosuke Ozawa

As was also mentioned at the annual shareholders meeting, the first surgery to use commercially sold autologous cultured cartilage (JACC), which has been covered by insurance since April 1, was conducted at Hiroshima University Hospital in mid-June. The surgeon was, of course, none other than Professor Mitsuo Ochi, the inventor of JACC. During the four weeks from when J-TEC received cartilage cells from the patient until we produced the JACC and shipped it, the company was filled with a sense of tension. We are praying that the patient will successfully go through rehabilitation and return to society in good health.

JACC transplants can be conducted only in medical institutions whose facilities meet certain standards and by physicians who meet certain criteria. It is necessary for the medical institutions and physicians to undergo several training sessions provided by our company. Medical institutions permitted to conduct JACC transplant surgery are gradually increasing. Our aim is to further improve this situation so that, after a few years, it will be possible to receive treatment using JACC at approximately 150 facilities in Japan.

Culturing Tissue for the 370th JACE Patient

The history of Japanese regenerative medicine began with our autologous cultured epidermis, JACE, which is used for treating serious burn injuries. Four and a half years have passed since we began selling JACE; during that time we have received and cultured skin from approximately 370 burn patients. About 35% of those products ended up not being shipped due to the death of the patient or other reasons, but we have supplied JACE to over 240 patients. It was not possible to save the lives of all of them, but we contributed to saving the lives of many.

From the time that we cultured tissue for the first JACE patient until now, there has been no change in our company’s approach. We do not acquire patient information or learn the cause of the burn; rather, each day we observe the state of cell proliferation (our employees call this “looking at the face of the cells”), carefully package and ship the products, and pray for the success of the surgery. JACE is being increasingly used for treatment at medical institutions. It is steadily taking root as one alternative for treating burn injuries in Japan.

Towards Profitability

In our company’s medium-term business plan (submitted May 14), we included a plan for achieving profitability in fiscal 2015. In fiscal 2013 and 2014, advance investments for launching our autologous cultured cartilage (JACC) business will take place, but we expect the advantages of mass-producing JACC to gradually begin to appear. To increase JACC production, we will also make appropriate facility investments.

In Japan there does not yet exist a bio-venture that has achieved profitability through manufacturing and selling its own products. However, I confidently promise that J-TEC will achieve profitability according to plan and establish a new business model in Japan while contributing to the Japanese economy and medical treatment.

June 26, 2013
Yosuke Ozawa
President & CEO
Japan Tissue Engineering Co., Ltd.