Sosei looks to $23bn peptide market with acquisition of tech firm Jitsubo

By Dan Stanton

- Last updated on GMT

Japan's Sosei Group buys peptide synthesis technology firm Jitsubo for $70m
Japan's Sosei Group buys peptide synthesis technology firm Jitsubo for $70m

Related tags Peptide synthesis

Sosei Group Corporation is looking to peptides to replenish its pipeline through the $70m acquisition of technology firm Jitsubo.

The peptide market is expected to reach $23bn (€18.5bn) by 2020, Sosei said as it announced the acquisition of technology firm Jitsubo. It added there are around 50 peptides already available and this deal – costing Sosei ¥431m ($70m) - has “potential to become a generator of future revenue and growth,”​ for the Tokyo, Japan-based pharmaceutical firm.

Founded at the Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, Jitsubo has developed two technologies: Molecular Hiving and Peptune, both of which will enable synthesis and isolation of peptide analogue compounds for Sosei.

Molecular Hiving is a platform that combines the benefits of liquid-phase peptide synthesis (LPPS) with solid-phase peptide synthesis (SPPS) to provide lower-cost production. LPPS is used in large scale peptide manufacturing but cannot be used for long-chain peptide synthesis, while SPPS can but is generally a high-cost technology mostly suitable in small scale production.

Jitsubo’s Peptune, meanwhile, enables arbitrary alteration of molecular configuration, without changing the amino acid sequence within the peptide, which the firm says creates peptides with greater pharmacological function and stability than with similar technologies.

Along with the technology platforms, Sosei is acquiring two Jitsubo peptide generic products in development, JIT-2001 for cardiovascular diseases and JIT-1007 for orphan diseases. These will help replenish Sosei’s pipeline, increasing the firm’s revenue inflow currently based on milestone and royalty payments from Novartis for its Seebri Breezhaler and Ultibro Breezhale respiratory products.

The deal comes almost five years after Sosei acquired Activus Pharma​ to boost its pipeline using the APNT nanoparticle drug formulation technology which claims to keep compounds virtually free from contamination during processing.

The deal is expected to go through later this month.

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