FUJIFILM Corporation (President and CEO Shigetaka Komori) and Mitsubishi Corporation (President and CEO Ken Kobayashi) announced today that they have entered into a partnership in the contract manufacturing for biopharmaceuticals, a business field that is expected to expand in the pharmaceutical market. Under the partnership, the companies have signed an agreement to transfer the ownership of 20% equity interests in Fujifilm's wholly-owned biopharmaceutical contract manufacturing subsidiaries, FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies U.S.A. Inc. (FDBUS) and FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies UK Limited (FDBUK), to Mitsubishi Corporation. Mitsubishi Corporation is set to become involved in the business management of FDBUS and FDBUK alongside Fujifilm in a joint effort to strongly promote the expansion of the biopharmaceutical contract manufacturing business.
Biopharmaceuticals are made up of bio-molecules* such as complex-structured proteins with a pharmacological effect that cannot be achieved with chemical synthesis. They are seen as effective treatment for some diseases with unmet medical needs, such as cancer and rheumatoid arthritis, for which effective therapies have yet to be established. With minimal side effects and high efficacy, biopharmaceuticals are expected to expand their presence in the pharmaceutical market. At the same time, the contract manufacturing of biopharmaceutical is also tipped to grow at a rate of over 15% per annum.
FDBUS and FDBUK are leading contract manufacturers of biopharmaceuticals that Fujifilm established on April 1, 2011 following acquisition from Merck & Co., Inc. of the United States. The companies have advanced biotechnology that uses microbial and mammalian cell culture to efficiently produce proteins for use in biopharmaceuticals. They are also equipped with extraction and purification process development capabilities, analytical capabilities, experienced human resources and manufacturing facilities which enable them to deliver a high yield down-stream process. Fujifilm oversees these companies' business operations with its expertise in production and quality management, developed over many years through its photographic film business, as well as its knowledge in high-molecular materials such as collagen.
Fujifilm is to transfer the ownership of 20% equity interests in FDBUS and FDBUK to Mitsubishi Corporation to forge a business partnership and further reinforce the ties between the two companies, in a bid to expand the contract manufacturing business for biopharmaceuticals.
Mitsubishi Corporation is tapping into its extensive experiences in the pharmaceutical business, including biopharmaceuticals, as it becomes involved in the management of FDBUS and FDBUK. It will make use of its global sales network and marketing capability, thereby contributing to strengthening the companies' sales capacity in areas such as attracting new customers.