Japan-UK Regenerative Medicine Research Symposium

On 8 September 2015, the Embassy of Japan in the UK held the Japan-UK Regenerative Medicine Research Symposium 2015, a seminar focusing on the latest trends, regulatory environment and Japan-UK collaboration in the field of regenerative medicine. The Symposium was co-hosted by the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO), the Cell Therapy Catapult, and the ‘Find A Better Way’ charity.

Thanks to recent progress of iPS cells led by regenerative medicine research, there is now increasing worldwide optimism surrounding the development of new treatments for previously incurable diseases and injuries. Both in Japan and the UK, efforts towards achieving this are gathering pace, with a number of government, industry and charity initiatives.

This event was held in the hope of further developing Japan-UK cooperation in the field of regenerative medicine, and featured presentations from leading figures in industry, government and academia of the two countries, along with discussion regarding how our two countries can work together in the future. The event was also honoured to welcome Sir Bobby Charlton, Founder of the ‘Find A Better Way’ charity.

Ambassador Keiichi Hayashi

The programme of the day was as follows:

Opening remarks

Ambassador Keiichi Hayashi, Embassy of Japan in the UK

Session 1 - Latest trends and future of regenerative medicine research in Japan and the UK

Mr Yutaka Hishiyama

Senior Director, Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED)

Presentation: Research and Development Policy on Regenerative Medicine in Japan

Professor Yoshiki Sawa

Department of Cardiovascular Surgery, University of Osaka

Dr Jean-Philippe St-Pierre

Faculty of Engineering, Department of Materials, Imperial College London

Professor Paul A Townsend

Associate Dean & Theme Lead for Personalised Therapy, University of Manchester

Dr Davide Danovi

Director, HipSci Cell Phenotyping, Centre for Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine, King’s College London

Presentation: Stem cells and their neighbourhoods: examples of translational research at CSCRM

Dr Setsuko Hashimoto

President & CEO, CellSeed Inc.

Presentation: Clinical Development of Regenerative Medicine Products Based on Cell Sheet Engineering Technology in Japan and Europe

Dr Hardy TS Kagimoto

President & CEO, Healios K.K.

Professor Johan Hyllner

Chief Scientific Officer, the Cell Therapy Catapult

Presentation: The Cell Therapy Catapult: Achievements and direction of travel

Session 2 - Efforts towards innovation from regulatory authorities in Japan and the UK

Dr Daisaku Sato

Director Office of Cellular and Tissue based products, Japan Pharmaceutical and Medical Devices Agency (PMDA)

Mr Ian Rees

GMP Expert Inspector, UK - Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA)

Discussion - Efforts towards innovation in Japan and the UK, and future investment

Closing Remarks

Mr Steve McGill CBE

Find A Better Way
More than 100 participants attended the event, including representatives from universities, charities and regulatory authorities. During the informative presentations, the latest regenerative therapy for heart disease using cell sheets  was highlighted, and there were lively discussions regarding the latest trends in Japan and the UK, including the conditional approval system.

The success of the event proved that regenerative medicine was a ‘hot topic’ both in Japan and the UK, and highlighted the importance of further collaboration between our two countries in this field. A networking reception followed, where participants were able to enjoy Japanese food and drink. For more information, please refer to the seminar handout.

Sir Bobby Charlton and Lady Norma, Mr John and Mrs Glenda Edees, Ambassador Keiichi Hayashi




The Embassy of Japan