BioForward is reaching out to members to highlight their organizations through a new member profile feature to tell more of their stories. FUJIFILM Cellular Dynamics, Inc. agreed to be interviewed as a part of our efforts to heighten the awareness of our region and integrated health solutions approach.
About FUJIFILM Cellular Dynamics, Inc.: FUJIFILMCellular Dynamics, Inc., develops and manufactures biologically relevant human cells derived from induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. Our iCell® and donor-specific MyCell® Products are highly pure, highly reproducible, and available in industrial quantity to enable drug discovery, toxicity testing, stem cell banking, and cell therapy development.
What do you find valuable about being a member of BioForward Wisconsin?
We appreciate all the opportunities provided to us through BioForward Wisconsin. We consider the organization a thought leader as it relates to biotech in general, and we actively use their resources for perspective and information for opportunities in the marketplace. We also value the networking, which allows us to connect with peers in the biotech field. There are many great informatics sources who are also members. We participate in many of the networking events. Most recently, our CEO participated in a discussion with biohealth leaders in Japan that was facilitated by BioForward Wisconsin.
FUJIFILM Cellular Dynamics, Inc. wants to be a good steward to the biotech community as a whole. The benefits we receive help represent the fact that BioForward is a committed and viable entity in Wisconsin.
What are the key areas of or achievements by your organization that are impacting the state of Wisconsin and the overall biohealth industry?
We have branded ourselves as The iPSC Company from a global perspective. Foundationally, we continue to innovate in terms of leveraging our iPSC platform and proprietary technologies. Wisconsin, being the foundation of the technology’s discovery, has allowed us to continue building and enabling our customers to develop solutions using human cells more quickly, accurately, and efficiently. We have engaged in partnerships with Century Therapeutics, and BlueRock Therapeutics respectively, and most recently to support using our platform and developmental know how to support the development of allogeneic therapeutics.
Our goal is to improve the human condition as a whole. Wisconsin is where our domain and epicenter are for all the important work we do. We will continue to reside and invest here.
What about the future of research, medical, technological innovation excites you the most?
We are excited about the opportunities for discovery and knowing what we are working on is within reach. During the early onset of this technology, commercialization was 20 years out. Now we are at the point where we will see direct commercialization in five to 10 years. The technology continues to evolve and accelerate. We are excited to see the market embrace cell-based therapeutics using iPSC’s knowing that pharmaceutical solutions have not reached full potential in some cases. We can make an impact at a cellular level. And we are at the forefront of where you will see changes that are substantial to the human condition. At this point, it’s all very real, not theoretical.
Why Wisconsin? What does Wisconsin (and/or Madison/Milwaukee) offer for your company and/or your/its families?
Our core capabilities and talent were based in Wisconsin from the very start. On an ongoing basis, a connection to the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where the foundation of this technology was created, is extremely important to us. We continue to build on that. Madison and Wisconsin, in general, offer a great place to live and allow us to attract and retain the talent we need. In addition, we have a huge appreciation for the quality of life Wisconsin provides our employees. We have great support from the state and community.
What would you recommend about or say to others about Wisconsin’s biohealth industry and research institutions?
There is an abundance of talented, capable and passionate people who are interested in contributing significantly to biotech. Companies thinking about investing from an economic standpoint will find it much easier to see a return on investment. There seems to be significant interest as it relates to the investment support with the economic development groups and the like. Also, depending on what community or city you plan to locate in, there could be significant incentives.
What is one thing others may not know about your organization?
We are leveraging our iPSC technology, on a number of different levels and continue to invest to fuel our growth opportunities. FUJIFILM wants to dramatically impact healthcare, and we are seeing significant investments in that industry. We have a unique technology, and we are excited to continue to positively impact and contribute to global healthcare solutions.