Fujifilm and Mitsubishi have embarked on a joint business venture in the contract manufacturing for biopharmaceuticals.
Under the new agreement between the Japanese corporations, Mitsubishi has taken ownership of 20 per cent equity interests in FDBUS and FDBUK.
Mitsubishi said they will team their experience in marketing and global sales with Fujifilm’s knowledge of production and quality management developed through its photographic film business to take the enterprise’s success to new heights.
“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.”
The new partnership comes after Fujifilm - eager to establish itself in the healthcare industry - made its fifth acquisition in a year with biotech manufacturing plants in North Carolina, US, and Billingham, UK, from US company Merck in February.
Fujifilm then went on to set up biopharmaceuticals makers Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies U.S.A. Inc. (FDBUS) and Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies UK Limited (FDBUK) in April.
Since their inception on April 1, 2011, FDBUS and FDBUK have become leading contract manufacturers of biopharmaceuticals, employing microbial and mammalian cell culture methods to produce proteins, used in cancer and rheumatoid arthritis treatments.
FDBUS and FDBUK also provide extraction and purification process development, and analytical services.
Fujifilm has confirmed the new alliance was on the cards when they took on the estimated $490m (€356m) deal with Merck; a move which surprised many after the business posted poor financial results for 2010.
A spokesperson told Outsourcing-Pharma: "We will build the partnership for the expansion of the contract manufacturing business for biopharmaceuticals. Mitsubishi has the potential to develop new market. We believe that the partnership with Mitsubishi will accelerate our business expansion in the field.
"Talks with Mitsubishi Corporation about this deal began last year, as we were going through the negotiations with Merck."