Cyfuse Biomedical K.K., the Japanese developer of a 3-D printer that produces human tissue, has raised ¥1.4 billion ($11.8 million) from investors including robotic-limb maker Cyberdyne Inc., people familiar with the matter said.
Cyfuse agreed to sell a stake to 12 domestic investors including medical-device manufacturer Shibuya Kogyo Co. and health information provider M3 Inc., the people said, asking not to be identified before a public announcement. In the afternoon, Shibuya Kogyo shares were on track for their biggest gains since Jan. 20.
The company’s Regenova three-dimensional printer, developed with Shibuya Kogyo, can be used to turn living cell aggregates into artificial human tissue. Such devices have applications for drugmakers and cosmetics firms seeking to test new products and could eventually be used to cut transplant rejections by constructing organs from a person’s own cells.
“Bio 3-D printing technology is going to push regenerative medicine forward,” Cyfuse Chief Executive Officer Koji Kuchiishi, 43, said in a Feb. 26 interview at the company’s Tokyo headquarters. “Someday we are going to see a world where we can regenerate body parts such as blood vessels, hearts and livers.”
Venture capital firms Jafco Co. and University of Tokyo Edge Capital Co. also participated in the funding round, said the individuals familiar with the matter. Cyfuse plans to use the proceeds to boost its sales force and fund clinical trials of its devices, two of the people said.
Spokesmen for Cyfuse, Cyberdyne, M3, Jafco and University of Tokyo Edge Capital declined to comment.
The company was founded in 2010 by Kuchiishi, a former McKinsey & Co. consultant and Panasonic Corp. engineer, and regenerative medicine researcher Koichi Nakayama. Cyfuse sells its 3-D printing systems to Japanese universities for research purposes for about ¥40 million each, according to Kuchiishi. It plans to start overseas sales this year, mainly in the U.S. and China, he said.
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