By: Natasha Khan

Originally published by Bloomberg.

Four years ago, Shinya Yamanaka received a phone call that would forever change his destiny. The Kyoto University professor had won a Nobel Prize for his work in stem cell biology, which has since sparked a torrent of investment into regenerative medicine in Japan, a fast-moving field the country’s pharmaceutical industry aims to dominate.

Shinya Yamanaka.

Shinya Yamanaka. Photographer: Yuriko Nakao/Bloomberg

Regenerated skin and cartilage are already used in Japanese patients, while corneas are expected to become available from 2018 and lab-grown livers and other organs in the years ahead.

Building upon Yamanaka’s research and the subsequent investment in the field, the country’s economy, trade and industry ministry estimates regenerative medicine to become a $950 million industry domestically by 2020. It’ll grow ten times to $10 billion by 2030, and the international market is expected to reach $120 billion during the same time frame. Along the way, sub-sectors such as immune cells, blood products and heart cells will flourish.

Read the original Bloomberg story here.