Otsu/Shiga, Japan – June 24, 2014 -  Takara Bio Inc. announced that on June 24, 2014, it signed an agreement with iHeart Japan Corporation (iHeart) involving licensing and technology transfer.


The agreement targets the manufacture and sale of research tools that use cardiomyocytes and vascular cells differentiated from stem cells such as human iPS cells (“the research tools”), as well as contracted services that make use of these research tools. Takara Bio acquired exclusive rights in Japan and Asia to licenses and technical expertise related to these businesses, and will pay licensing fee based on the agreement.


Several products may be manufactured as the research tool. Main product with growth potential will be a tool for evaluating risk of pharmaceutical candidate substances to induce adverse reactions such as arrhythmia in humans. Currently, pharmaceutical companies use in vitro and in vivo evaluation, to identify candidate substances with less risk and suitable for administration to humans. However, a preclinical study sometimes fails to find out toxicity of the substance due to species difference between humans and animals, for example. In some cases, toxicity of a substance appears only in humans and the clinical development of a substance or sale of a product has to be discontinued. The research tool Takara Bio will manufacture can estimate effect of the substance on humans at a high level of precision, and in vitro study using the tool can substitute a part of animal experiments or clinical studies, leading in marked reduction in cost and risk associated with drug discovery.


iHeart was established as a venture company in 2013 to apply technology developed by Prof. JunYamashita of Center for iPS cell Research and Application of Kyoto University. Its strength resides in technology to differentiate pluripotent stem cells such as iPS cells into cardiomyocytes and vascular cells. Takara Bio, after obtaining technology from iHeart, plans to begin the manufacture and sales of, and contracted services for, these research tools within the next 2 years.


This agreement has only slight effect on estimated consolidated and non-consolidated operating results of the fiscal year ended March 2015. Takara Bio will aggressively engage in development of new products and services which support drug discovery in biopharmaceuticals.

【Profile of iHeart Japan】

Name iHeart Japan Corporation
Established 2013
Representative President, Kenji Kakuta


Medical Innovation Center, 53, Kawaramachi, Shogoin, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto


A venture company to apply technology developed by Prof. Jun Yamashita of Center for iPS cell Research and Application of Kyoto University