To start in spring 2012
Japan’s Fujifilm Corporation and Kyowa Hakko Kirin have agreed to set up a 50:50 joint venture in spring next year to develop biopharmaceuticals.
The two firms will focus on the growing market for biosimilars, which is set to expand rapidly against the backdrop of escalating medical costs and patent expiration through to 2020.
The new venture will merge Fujifilm's production, quality control and analysis technology, developed through its photographic film business over many years, with Kyowa Hakko Kirin's proprietary technologies and expertise, accumulated through its biopharmaceutical r&d and manufacturing.
The joint venture has set a goal to start a clinical trial for the first drug candidate by 2013.
Fujifilm has already said that it is targeting the pharmaceutical business as an area for future growth. In the field of biopharmaceuticals, the firm is accelerating its business through various initiatives including drug discovery by Perseus Proteomics and contract manufacturing by Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies.
Fujifilm says the new joint venture will further reinforce the foundation of its biopharmaceutical business, while taking advantage of its proprietary technologies and resources, to provide the market with high quality pharmaceuticals with a low production cost.
Kyowa Hakko Kirin says it will use innovative production technologies to manufacture a line of pharmaceuticals including therapeutic antibodies. The firm will create innovative drugs for the core therapeutic areas of oncology, nephrology and immunology.