TOKYO, January 27, 2022 – FUJIFILM Corporation (President and CEO, Representative Director: Teiichi Goto) today announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire a cell therapy manufacturing facility from Atara Biotherapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATRA) for USD 100 million. Located in Thousand Oaks, California, the facility is readily expandable with the flexibility to produce both clinical and commercial cell therapies including allogeneic T-cell and CAR T immunotherapies.
FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies, a subsidiary of FUJIFILM Corporation, and a world-leading contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) with experience in the development and manufacture of biologics, vaccines and advanced therapies, will operate the new site.
Through this acquisition by FUJIFILM Corporation, FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies will solidify its leadership position as a complete solutions-manufacturing provider for advanced therapies. The 90,000 sq. ft. manufacturing facility is currently named “Atara T-cell Operations and Manufacturing (ATOM)” and is readily expandable to support cell therapy manufacturing processes, including allogeneic T-cell and CAR T immunotherapies. At closing, Fujifilm plans to offer positions to approximately 140 current highly-skilled manufacturing and quality staff at the site.
As part of the agreement, FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies and Atara will enter into a long-term manufacturing and services agreement, which could extend to ten years to support the production of Atara’s clinical pipeline, which includes tabelecleucel (tab-cel®) for the treatment of Epstein-Barr virus positive post-transplant lymphoproliferative disease (EBV+PTLD).
The cell-therapy manufacturing facility will advance FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies’ global CDMO manufacturing footprint to the West Coast of the United States and complements its existing locations supporting the advanced therapy market in College Station, Texas, U.S.A., Watertown, Massachusetts, U.S.A., and its recently announced BioCampus in the United Kingdom.
“Fujifilm is currently accelerating business growth of Life Sciences field and continues to aggressively invest in both capital and technology in its bio CDMO business,” said Teiichi Goto, president and chief executive officer, representative director, FUJIFILM Corporation. “Through this acquisition Fujifilm can extend its CDMO offering to advanced cell therapies. Going forward, Fujifilm will, by providing a stable supply of high quality biopharmaceuticals, further advance establishing tomorrow’s medicines that fulfill unmet medical needs.”
“We are thrilled that through this acquisition we will add approximately 140 talented staff from Atara’s cell therapy manufacturing facility to the FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies family. The collective expertise of the team will further support our efforts as a world-class CDMO,” added Martin Meeson, chief executive officer, FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies. “We also look forward to adding the facility to FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies’ existing global footprint and to bolster the expansion of our advanced therapies CDMO business.”
“FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies is a highly respected industry-leading manufacturing and development organization that shares our pioneering culture and belief that allogeneic cell therapies will transform the future of medicine,” said Pascal Touchon, president and chief executive officer, Atara. “We are incredibly proud of our world-class ATOM staff and the facility and believe that this strategic partnership will meet our long-term manufacturing needs. Our team has developed processes for our products, scaled them up, and built inventory for clinical trials and the commercial launch of tab-cel. We believe that now is the right time for a strategic relationship with FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies to give us access to the expert manufacturing capability Atara will require, when needed. We will now confidently further focus our capital resources on development and commercialization of our pipeline of first-in-kind therapeutics for severe diseases.”
FUJIFILM Corporation will continue to expand its bio CDMO business by leveraging its strength of being able to handle a wide variety of biopharmaceutical process development and manufacturing from clinical to commercial scale for drug products, fill & finish, and packaging. Furthermore, in order to expand the business in the most advanced biopharmaceutical fields, FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies joined Landmark Bio, the industry-academia research and development consortium, to explore the application of genetically modified cell therapies.
In its pursuit to establish itself as a comprehensive healthcare company covering prevention, treatment and diagnosis, FUJIFILM Corporation has made multiple strategic acquisitions over recent years to expand and diversify its healthcare portfolio. The ability to identify and leverage synergies between its businesses is a key strength of Fujifilm and fundamental to its growth strategy.
This acquisition is expected to be completed in April 2022, subject to expiration of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act and other customary closing conditions.
About FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies
FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies, a subsidiary of FUJIFILM Corporation, is a world-leading contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) with experience in the development and manufacture of biologics, vaccines and advanced therapies. FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies has existing locations in Teesside, UK, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, USA, College Station, Texas, USA and Hillerød, Denmark, the company is currently building new facilities in Watertown, Massachusetts, USA, and Holly Springs, North Carolina, USA. FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies has over thirty years of experience in the development and manufacturing of recombinant proteins, vaccines, monoclonal antibodies, among other large molecules, viral products and medical countermeasures expressed in a wide array of microbial, mammalian, and host/virus systems. The company offers a comprehensive list of services from cell line development using its proprietary pAVEway™ microbial and Apollo™X cell line systems to process development, analytical development, clinical and FDA-approved commercial manufacturing. Mitsubishi Corporation is a 20% shareholder of FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies’ UK, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, Watertown, Massachusetts and College Station, Texas sites. For more information, go to: www.fujifilmdiosynth.com.
FUJIFILM Corporation is an operating company of FUJIFILM Holdings Corporation. FUJIFILM Holdings Corporation, Tokyo, Japan, brings cutting edge solutions to a broad range of global industries by leveraging its depth of knowledge and fundamental technologies developed in its relentless pursuit of innovation. Its proprietary core technologies contribute to the various fields including healthcare, highly functional materials, document solutions and imaging products. These products and services are based on its extensive portfolio of chemical, mechanical, optical, electronic and imaging technologies. For the year ended March 31, 2021, the company had global revenues of $21 billion, at an exchange rate of 106 yen to the dollar. Fujifilm is committed to responsible environmental stewardship and good corporate citizenship. For more information, please visit: https://holdings.fujifilm.com/en.