Tokyo, Japan - April 9, 2015
Yokogawa Solution Service Corporation announces that it will join the Smart Cell Processing project, a joint undertaking of industrial, administrative, and academic organizations in Japan and the UK that is being led by Tokyo Electron Limited, and will work with Tokyo Electron to develop a total quality management system for the automated production of stem cells that will be used in regenerative medicine.
Tokyo Electron has established the Stem Cell Technology Centre (STC) in the UK and is working with 15 technology partners to establish and standardize smart cell processing technologies for cultivating and inspecting stem cells of clinical quality. For this purpose, a manufacturing control system is needed that can control cell quality during the automatic cultivation process. Leveraging its solid track record and experience with manufacturing control applications in the pharmaceutical industry, Yokogawa will develop a complete stem cell production quality management solution that will also control logistics and function as a manufacturing execution system (MES) and plant information management system (PIMS).
Based on CIMVisionPharms*1, a pharmaceutical manufacturing control package, and CellBrain™*2, an online semiconductor manufacturing controller, this system will satisfy the specific requirements of stem cell production. To develop this management system, Yokogawa will make use of a fully-automatic cell culture and inspection apparatus that Tokyo Electron plans to install at the STC. Yokogawa will share information on its activities with the STC technology partners.
In line with the dramatic progress that is being achieved in iPS and ES cell research, expectations are rising that regenerative medicine is going to be a true game changer in the medical field. For the benefits of regenerative medicine to become widely available, progress must be achieved in the development of smart cell processing technologies and the establishment of stem cell production facilities. Yokogawa control and measurement technologies are used in a wide range of industries, and are helping achieve advances in biotechnology, regenerative medicine, and biomedicine. Yokogawa plans to capitalize on this joint development opportunity with Tokyo Electron to expand its business in these fields.
Yokogawa entered the biotechnology field in 1996 when it released the CSU series of confocal scanners, which are capable of taking images of live cells. Yokogawa later released the CellVoyager CV7000 high-throughput cytological discovery system, which is used to screen huge numbers of chemical compounds for the identification of promising new drugs, and the CellVoyager CV1000 confocal scanner box, which is equipped with a highly sensitive camera and other necessary functions for long-term live cell imaging. In 2014, Yokogawa released the CQ1 confocal quantitative image cytometer, which has won high praise from research and inspection organizations around the world for its ability to accurately and efficiently quantify the morphological features of individual cells. In addition, Yokogawa is developing a technology for the control of cell culture processes that makes combined use of near-infrared spectroscopy and simulation-based model measurement.
*1 Released in 1996, this package software is used to track the progress of pharmaceutical production activities and control work procedures, product quality, inventories, and facilities. Approximately 90 of these packages have been delivered and are being used by manufacturers to ensure compliance with regulations on drug manufacturing.
*2 This software is widely used in the semiconductor industry to connect semiconductor and FPD manufacturing equipment with manufacturing control systems, enabling advanced control and data collection.
Yokogawa's global network of 86 companies spans 56 countries. Founded in 1915, the US$4 billion company conducts cutting-edge research and innovation. Yokogawa is engaged in the industrial automation and control (IA), test and measurement, and other businesses segments. The IA segment plays a vital role in a wide range of industries including oil, chemicals, natural gas, power, iron and steel, pulp and paper, pharmaceuticals, and food. For more information about Yokogawa, please visit the company's website www.yokogawa.com.