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Our news cover the latest topics from the past 30 days, as retrieved from Japanese-language press releases and other information sources.

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JBA’s Bioindustry Award 2019 goes to Kaneka and RIKEN researchers for the development of a PHBH polymer biodegradable on soil and in seawater

The poly-hexanoate-butyrate (PHBH) copolymer is produced by Kaneka from plant oil using a recombinant strain of Cupriavidus necator at a capacity of currently 1,000 tons, with plans to increase production to 5,000  and later to 100,000 tons a year. PHBH materials decompose not only on soil, but also in seawater (90% within 6 months at 30°C) and have obtained the “OK Biodegradable Marine” certificate from TÜV AUSTRIA Belgium NV. The biopolymer-producing strain is based on joint research by Yoshiharu Doi, former Professor of the Tokyo Institute of Technology and Director at RIKEN, and five Kaneka researchers who will share the award of 3 million ¥ (~25,000 €).

JBA news release, July 29, 2019

 

EdiGene startup to focus on gene therapy of orphan diseases

The company is a spin-off of the University of Tokyo, using the research results of Osamu NUREKI. They develop in vivo gene therapy using adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors for single gene diseases. https://www.j-startup.go.jp/en/startups/017_edigene.html

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MHLW approves two gene therapies in Japan

The two items approved were Anges Co. HGF gene therapy for treatment of critical limb ischemia (AMG0001, beperminogene perplasmid)Novartis CAR-T cell therapy Kymriah (Tisagenlecleucel) for the treatment of acute lymphoblastic B-cell leukemia Nikkei Biotech news...

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