TC Biopharm opens first overseas office in Japan

TC Biopharm opens first overseas office in Japan

Immunotherapy company TC BioPharm Ltd (TCB) has announced it will open a new office in Japan to continue the expansion of its Asian operations.

Developing CAR-T-based approaches to treat cancer, TC BioPharm has an established history of working closely with Japanese biotech and pharmaceutical companies.

Soon after commencing operations, Tokyo-based biotech company Medinet made an initial investment to assist progress to UK-based clinical studies.

Since incorporation, TCB has also worked closely with Cell Science & Technology Institute Inc., who exclusively developed specialised culture media to assist in the manufacture of ImmuniCAR® and other cell-based therapies being developed by TCB. 

In 2017, as part of a $8m equity round, TCB obtained its first significant investment from a major pharmaceutical company – the NIPRO Corporation (Osaka) who along with the Scottish Investment Bank contributed the majority of TCB’s series-A fundraising.

More recently, the NIPRO Corporation announced that it had formed a strategic collaboration to co-develop a novel immunotherapy product using TCB’s safe CAR-T platform, based on unique properties of modified gamma delta T cells to selectively target cancer whilst leaving healthy cells untouched.

TCB’s Japanese operations will be located at the Kanagawa Life Innovation Center, Tonomachi in Kawasaki City, Kanagawa Prefecture. Opposite Tokyo’s Haneda International airport, the biotech cluster at Tonomachi has been created for businesses to devise solutions to global issues in the life sciences sector. The Japanese Government has designated King SkyFront Park to be a special zone for international development, and is the flagship science and technology innovation hub of Kawasaki City.

Dr Michael Leek, TCB’s chief executive and founder said:  “We have been working closely with Japanese companies since TC BioPharm commenced operations in 2014, so I’m delighted that we now have a physical presence at the Kanagawa Life Innovation Center in Japan as we look to future clinical and commercial collaborations with the ultimate aim of improving patient health and quality of life.”

Chief business officer for TCB, Dr Artin Moussavi, added: “Japan is a key market for TC BioPharm and having a base there is the next logical step for us. We already have strong partnerships in Japan and this opening furthermore demonstrates our long-term vision and investment to developing a major immunotherapy business in Japan and Asia.”

Assisting TCB with finding an ideal location in Japan, the company received guidance from Scottish Development International. 

Mr. Yuji Kuroiwa, governor of Kanagawa Prefecture, said: “We all welcome TC BioPharm’s decision to locate in Kanagawa Life Innovation Center (LIC).  I am filled with deep emotion that the presence of Scottish Development International in LIC has led to an outcome: TCB, a leading company in cell therapy, deciding to locate in LIC.  Kanagawa Prefecture Government is ready to provide positive support to TCB’s projects.”