A new agreement between Japan and the UK aims to push forward regenerative medicine and cell and gene therapies to tackle health problems and accelerate commercial outcomes for both countries

The memorandum of understanding between the UK BioIndustry Association and Japan’s Forum for Innovative Regenerative Medicine will promote collaboration and information sharing between the two countries, and in particular enable companies in the two regions to work together.

The agreement follows a MedCity-led delegation to Japan in October last year as part of the Mayor of London’s trade mission, which focused particularly on opportunities for cell and gene therapy partnerships. Sarah Haywood, MedCity’s CEO, says:

“This is a terrific opportunity for two innovative nations with a huge focus in cell therapy to join together to push forward the availability and commercialisation of a really promising field of medical science. Our aim in leading the delegation to Japan was to foster new academic and commercial partnerships, so I’m delighted to see this new agreement.”

The MoU was developed by UCL’s Professor Chris Mason, Chair of the BIA Cell Therapy Advisory Committee, who now intends to develop a collaborative programme of activities and events to implement the agreement. He says:

“The face to face contact that came from joining MedCity’s delegation was hugely helpful in developing this relationship, and I’m sure that many other partnerships will emerge from the visit.”

BIA CEO Steve Bates adds: “The MoU will help FIRM to become the formal industry association for cell and gene therapy in Japan, presenting an opportunity to expand and strengthen the existing networks between UK and Japanese companies and regulators in this field.”