MegaKaryon Corporation

Goals

To evaluate a market in the biotech area, it is important to understand the importance of MegaKaryon in the race to develop bioreactor-created platelets from stem cells. Therefore, an overview of the company's funding, investors, major accomplishments including pre-clinical and clinical trials is needed.


Early Findings

  • Megakaryon raised JPY3.7 billion in Series C funding from 5 investors: Shinsei Corporate Investment Limited, Innovation Network Corporation of Japan (a government funding agency), Shiga Bank Growth Fund, Otsuka Pharmaceutical, and Otsuka Pharmaceutical Factory.
  • Megakaryon is the "brainchild of two universities with the government as the main shareholder."
  • In 2017, Megakaryon announced it had created "the world’s first method of platelet mass production based on iPS cells. This involves using stem cells created through iPS to make a master cell bank. Once this is established, it can be cryopreserved and grown to generate unlimited numbers of platelet cells. Only a few donors are needed, compared to the millions of donors necessary to maintain the current system of blood donations."
  • To commercialize the technology, Megakaryon formed a consortium with 15 companies.
  • Megakaryon's current plans with the technology are to conduct clinical trials in the U.S. and Japan and commercialize the product by 2020. The clinical trials commenced in 2018.
  • Stakeholders are supporting Megakaryon’s method because its foundation lies on "exclusive licenses for platelet-production techniques developed by Koji Eto, a professor at Kyoto University’s Center for iPS Cell Research and Application, and Hiromitsu Nakauchi, Project Professor, Division of Stem Cell Therapy, The University of Tokyo."
  • Some of the company's its scientific advisors include Nakauchi, Eto, and George Daley, Dean of Harvard Medical School.




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