Experimetal animals applicable to the development of regenerative medicines

Regience K.K. (heareafter, Regience) and Fuji Micra Inc. (hereafter, Fuji Micra) made an agreement of business partnership in the field of “experimental animals”, which is applicable to the development of regenerative medicines.

Press release in March 2015

In this partnership, we are going to combine the knowledge of Regience accumulating in our product developments and the technology of Fuji Micra to establish micro-sized pig called MicroMini Pig (hereafter, MMP, Fig.1). Our goal of this joint business is to establish a consistent research platform from preclinical to clinical studies in regenerative medicine. Furthermore, this collaboration will lead to distinct project to succeed in the construction of “human tissue/organ factories” in which human-derived tissues/organs are regenerated in the animal bodies.

Swine is getting more acceptable choice for experimental animal in preclinical research, especially in the field of regenerative medicine because of its biological and anatomical similarity to human. Additionally, it is easily accessed by many researchers because it has been miniaturized in late years. Experimental application of other animals such as dogs and monkeys are being restricted especially in Europe by raising animal rights and ethical issues. In these circumstances, the market of the pigs as medium-sized experimental animals is extensively expanded in Europe. Although the dogs and the monkeys as experimental animals still retain larger market in Japan, their market sizes are recently contracting and hence, will be replaced to the pigs (Fig.2). Since the facilities for the pharmaceutical developments are shifting to Asia including China, we also expect this area will become huge market to supply the pigs as experimental animals.

In this trend that miniaturization of porcine size are valuable as experimental animal, Fuji Micra succeeded in establishment the MMP line. The tremendous advantage of MMP is its size as mentioned, which is less than 10 kg even in 6 months of age and is much smaller than the conventional miniature pig called as Mini-pig. Whereas using the pig or Mini-pig as experimental animal has some problem, which is high reproduction/breeding costs and high dosage of clinical trial medicine, MMP is very cost effective because of its small size (Fig.3).

Regience accelerates the development of our multiple pipelines by using MMPs in the preclinical phase of the studies. And along this partnership, MMP is to be supplied commercially to clients like pharmaceutical companies upon their requests. In order to increase the availability of the MMP to the clients for the preclinical studies, multiple disease-models, such as diabetes pig are also to be constructed.


図1 Micromini pig (reference from Fuji Micra)


図2 Overseas markets of medium-sized experimental animals


図3 Usefulness of MMP (reference from Fuji Micra)