Regenerating eastward

Belgian regenerative medicine biotech Promethera makes the case for expanding in Asia

Having capitalized on the cell therapy expertise and manufacturing incentives of its European home base, Promethera Biosciences S.A. is expanding to Japan to tap the commitment to regenerative medicines among investors, pharmas and regulators.

After spending three years building its investor base in Japan and South Korea, Promethera opened a branch office last month in Tokyo, from where it hopes to find a pharma partner for HepaStem, a liver-derived mesenchymal stem cell therapy in Phase II testing.

Promethera CEO John Tchelingerian told BioCentury the Belgian biotech has been “well served” with science and government manufacturing support from its home country through regional resources like the Walloon Cell Therapy Platform, a manufacturing public-private partnership co-sponsored by the Wallonia government, Promethera and other stakeholders.

But he said European investors’ risk-averse approach to regenerative medicines has limited the company’s access to capital,

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