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To Our Investors

Message from the New President and CEO of J-TEC

Aiichiro Hiruma

I am Aiichiro Hiruma, and I have recently had the honor of assuming the position of President and Chief Executive Officer of Japan Tissue Engineering Co., Ltd. (J-TEC). This is the year in which we have positioned J-TEC to achieve certain profitability, and I am fully prepared to take on the challenges ahead.

I joined Fuji Photo Film Co., Ltd., as the company was then known, in 1982, and since that time I have been primarily engaged in management and business operations planning in the Management Planning Division and the Medical Systems Division. I have spent a total of 11 years stationed overseas – nine years in the Netherlands and two years in Germany. I have also been involved in the establishment of Fujifilm’s Regenerative Medicine Business Promotion Office, and in the formulation and promotion of the company’s regenerative medicine business strategy. During this process, my experiences included bringing J-TEC into the Fujifilm Group through the exercising of all of the company’s equity warrants, and by acquiring the leading U.S. developer and manufacturer of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, Cellular Dynamics International, Inc. In 2015, I was transferred to Toyama Chemical, a Fujifilm Group company that develops and manufactures pharmaceutical products, where I served as the General Manager for Director Management Planning.

I have returned to regenerative medicine after a year spent away from the field, but I am determined to quickly catch up on the technological advancements and other developments that have taken place in this rapidly evolving industry. In addition, I will bring the new perspectives I have gained from Toyama Chemical’s pharmaceutical products, and I will be exerting my utmost efforts to the further development of both J-TEC and our regenerative medicine business.

If we use the analogy of the triple jump event to describe J-TEC, the many years of losses since the company was originally founded can be equated with the long run up toward the first hop, which has been achieved by the company finally becoming a profit-making enterprise. We have now reached the next stage in the sequence, the skip, in which we are aiming to further expand the company’s business operations. As President, I will be placing particular emphasis on the three following points:

1. Ensuring profitability in the current fiscal year

The revision of the medical payment system in Japan is acting as a favorable tailwind. We will capitalize on this by expanding sales of our autologous cultured epidermis JACE and autologous cultured cartilage JACC products, and by reducing production costs. This will enable us to achieve profitability by March 31, 2017, the end of the current fiscal year.

2. Developing new business operations

We will leverage the performance record and brand of J-TEC, and develop legal Contract Research Organizations and Contract Manufacturing Organizations specially for regenerative medicine. Moreover, we will focus on the development of consulting and cultivation outsourcing businesses in accordance with the Japanese Act on the Safety of Regenerative Medicine.

3. Pursuing synergy with the Fujifilm Group

We will strive to create solutions for unmet medical needs by integrating the various technologies of the Fujifilm Group – a feat that no other company can hope to emulate. I believe that J-TEC can play a significant role in the fields of medical equipment and regenerative medicine, pharmaceuticals and regenerative medicine, and iPS cells and regenerative medicine.

One Japanese expression I have always held close to my heart is “Giving one’s all at living in one place.” This expression originates from the Middle Ages and means going to the extent of risking one’s life to ensure one can go on living in a certain place. I feel acutely aware that I have been given responsibility for the outstanding ‘place’ known as J-TEC. I am determined to demonstrate my abilities to the full to ensure that J-TEC becomes a leading company in Japan in the field of regenerative medicine.

Along with endeavoring to ensure the continued support we have kindly received from the academic world and from doctors who use JACE and JACC, in my capacity as President and CEO, I will work towards further deepening our ties with FUJIFILM Corporation, and conduct the management of the company to the very best of my abilities. I will exert my utmost efforts to ensure I fulfill the expectations of our shareholders and all other stakeholders, and I look forward to your continued support as we strive to take J-TEC to the next level.

Jane 24, 2016
Aiichiro Hiruma
President & CEO
Japan Tissue Engineering Co., Ltd.