News Releases 2021
Nov. 26, 2021
Investment in two companies in the MSC regenerative medicine and digital therapeutics fields through CVC fund
Yokohama, Japan－JGC Holdings Corporation (Chairman and CEO: Masayuki Sato hereinafter referred to as "JGC Holdings") announced that they have invested in two companies in the MSC※1 regenerative medicine and digital therapeutics※2 fields through the JGC MIRAI Innovation Fund, a corporate venture capital (CVC) fund jointly managed by JGC Holdings and the domestic engineering company - JGC Japan Corporation (Representative Director, President: Shoji Yamada, hereinafter referred to as "JGC Japan").
The two companies in which JGC Holdings and JGC Japan have invested are TWOCELLS COMPANY, LIMITED (headquartered in Hiroshima, Japan; hereinafter referred to as "TWOCELLS"), which is engaged in the regenerative medicine field using MSC, and MedRhythms Inc. (headquartered in Maine, U.S.A.; hereinafter referred to as "MedRhythms"), which provides digital therapy based on a unique music therapy to treat gait disorders in stroke patients.
1. Background and Objectives
Following the establishment of the fund in April 2021, the JGC Group has been researching promising companies in Japan and overseas, with "improving the quality of life in the era of 100-year life" as one of the target themes.
In addition to possessing innovative technologies and solutions that contribute to addressing social issues such as declining and aging population, TWOCELLS is expected to strengthen JGC's proposal capabilities for the design, procurement, and construction (EPC) of pharmaceutical manufacturing plants and medical facilities, a field in which JGC has been engaged in for almost half a century.
2. Overview of TWOCELLS Investment
TWOCELLS has been researching and developing high-quality MSC products by applying patented technologies such as culture technology using serum-free medium.
In particular, the company's gMSC®1, a cell therapy product for knee cartilage, has been in the spotlight as a regenerative medicine product that has been confirmed to be safe and effective through a process that does not use patient (autologous) cells, but cultivates and transplants other cells harvested from the periosteum of non-patients, while enabling mass production and stable supply.
Combining TWOCELLS's cutting-edge culture technology with JGC Japan's engineering capabilities, including automation, we strive to improve the efficiency of cell culture. JGC Japan will use the knowledge and know-how gained through the efficiency improvement within the company to contribute to solving the problems faced by companies engaged in regenerative medicine in Japan and overseas in establishing a safe and low-cost mass production system.
3. Overview of JGC's Investment in MedRhythms
MedRhythms is developing digital therapies for patients who have difficulty walking after a stroke, using sensors that measure the patient's gait and an application that selects the music and rhythm most suitable to patients based on data detected by the sensors and plays it through headphones.
MedRhythms' next-generation digital therapeutics are attracting attention as the brain is activated by the stimulation of patients' favorite music and rhythm, improving walking ability as the autonomic nervous system is regulated, and that they can be used at home. MedRhythms also received Breakthrough Device Designation※3 from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
JGC Japan is engaged in the EPC business for hospitals and rehabilitation facilities. Our investment in MedRhythms, a leading next-generation digital therapeutics company, ensures that JGC Japan is well positioned to increase its presence in the rehabilitation field in Japan, where the market is expected to further increase, and to promote the development of innovative technology that will improve patient lives.
4. Future Policy
Based on the cutting-edge technologies possessed by the companies in which we at JGC Holdings and JGC Japan have invested, we will strengthen our proposal capabilities tailored to client needs in the life science and healthcare fields, which are positioned as growth businesses in our medium-term management plan - "Building a Sustainable Planetary Infrastructure 2025" (BSP2025).
In addition, we will make further strategic investments to achieve synergies with the JGC Group.
- ※1: MSC means mesenchymal stem cells, which are pluripotent cells that have the ability to self-renew and differentiate. A cell source that can be applied to regenerative medicine as well as cell A cell source that can be applied to cell therapy as well as regenerative medicine.
- ※2: A treatment program used by patients themselves under the supervision of a physician, and a medical intervention software that uses digital technology for disease prevention, diagnosis, and treatment.
- ※3: This system enables the FDA to quickly certify the practical application of therapies with high expected efficacy. MedRhythm's therapeutic devices have been confirmed to be effective in a proof of concept (PoC) in the U.S., and are in the final stages of the certification process. It is expected to obtain approval in the spring of 2022.
The names of companies, organizations, products, services, and logos used in this document are registered trademarks or trademarks of the respective companies and organizations.
Outline of TWOCELLS：
|Name||TWOCELLS COMPANY, LIMITED|
|Representative||Toshiki Hiura, President and Representative Director|
|Business Description||Development, manufacturing and sales of MSC regenerative medicine products|
Outline of MedRhythms：
CEO and Co-Founder BRIAN HARRIS, Ph.D.
President and Co-Founder OWEN McCARTHY
|Business Description||Development and provision of digital therapeutics with unique music therapy for gait disorders in patients with brain diseases|
MedRhythms is a digital therapeutics company that uses sensors, music and software to build evidence-based neurologic interventions to measure and improve walking. The company is developing a pipeline of digital therapeutics in neurological conditions such as Parkinson's, acute stroke and multiple sclerosis, including a neuroimaging study with Massachusetts General Hospital. MedRhythms has received FDA Breakthrough Device designation for its lead digital therapeutic to treat chronic stroke walking deficits. The company was founded out of Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, one of the leading rehabilitation hospitals in the United States. MedRhythms is headquartered in Portland, Maine. For more information, please visit www.medrhythms.com.
Outline of JGC MIRAI Innovation Fund：
|Name||JGC MIRAI Innovation Fund L.P.|
|Unlimited liability partner||Global Brain Corporation|
|Total sum under management||
5 billion yen
|Management term||10 years|
|Limited liability partners||JGC Holdings Corporation, JGC Japan Corporation|
・Domestic and foreign start-ups that possess innovative technologies and business models concerning the realization of carbon neutral, building sustainable and resilient infrastructure, enhancing lifestyle quality while looking ahead to the 100-year-life society and making industries smart. All of which are components of the safe, secure, and sustainable social system envisaged by JGC Japan
・Start-ups that are anticipated to collaborate with JGC Japan