Rohto is an international pharmaceutical company with a $1.3bn annual turnover, and, together with the medical category, it also markets a number of high-end cosmetics and skin care brands, some of which touch on the anti-acne, sun care and men’s grooming categories.
The company is based in Osaka, and extends its reach into the North America, Europe and Asia markets, with more than 60% of its total revenues being attributable to the skin care market.
Rohto is big in skin care
Its skin care brands include Oxy B anti-acne treatments, Sunplay suncare, Bodyice dodorant, Mentholatum men’s skin care and Selsun anti-dandruff shampoo.
Rohto says that the agreement will lead to the further evaluation of ISCO stem cell-derived human cells being evaluated in pre-clinical animal models.
If the evaluations prove successful, the two companies have agreed that they will sign a definitive licensing agreement at the end of 12 months that is likely to see new stem cell-derived products go to market.
Agreement spells opportunities for both companies
Dr. Simon Craw, EVP of Business Development at ISCO, said he believed that the signing of the deal should spell significant opportunities for the company, as well as helping to expand the use of stem cells in consumer products.
"Under the terms of the agreement Rohto will begin working with our cells immediately and if the program is successful we may move to the next stage, signing a definitive license agreement. Such an agreement would significantly enhance our standing in a number of ways,” said Dr. Craw.
“Firstly, having diligently built up our scientific strength and patent portfolio over the last few years, it would both validate our research as well as our ability to generate licensing revenue from our proprietary platform. Secondly, by expanding the use of our technology into new areas beyond that which we can address alone, it would add value to the Company."