Fujifilm and Kyowa Hakko Kirin to set up a joint venture for the development of biosimilars
Tokyo, Japan, November 16, 2011 --- FUJIFILM Corporation (President and CEO Shigetaka Komori; hereinafter "Fujifilm") and Kyowa Hakko Kirin Co., Ltd. (President and CEO Yuzuru Matsuda; hereinafter "Kyowa Hakko Kirin") have reached a basic agreement to establish a joint venture in the spring of 2012 to develop highly reliable, high-quality and competitive products in the fast-growing biosimilars market.
Today, biopharmaceuticals are making a growing presence in the pharmaceuticals market due to their unique efficacy and small side-effects, achieved through the use of proteins and other bio-molecules, which have a complex structure and deliver pharmacological effects that could not be attained in chemical synthesis. Biosimilars are drugs that have equivalent or similar effects to those of innovative biopharmaceuticals but are marketed by a different manufacturer after the original drugs' patent expiration.
The biosimilars market is set to expand rapidly throughout the world against the backdrop of escalating medical costs and patent expiration of a series of innovative biopharmaceuticals through to 2020. However, biosimilars will require an advanced level of reliability and quality equivalent to that of their original counterparts as well as low costs in order to achieve broad proliferation and expansion.
Fujifilm and Kyowa Hakko Kirin have agreed to set up a joint venture with 50-50 capital participation for the development of biosimilars. The new venture will merge Fujifilm's advanced production technology, quality control technology and analysis technology, developed through its photographic film business over many years, with Kyowa Hakko Kirin's proprietary technologies and know-how, accumulated through its biopharmaceutical R&D and manufacturing, in order to create innovative production processes and achieve cost reduction for biosimilars. Placing much value on the development speed as well, the new venture sets a goal to start a clinical trial for the first drug candidate by 2013. The development and timely introduction of highly reliable, high-quality and cost-competitive biosimilars through this partnership will aim at establishing the position as the market leader.
Fujifilm has engaged in the pharmaceutical business as one of its focal areas for future growth. In the field of biopharmaceuticals, in particular, the company is accelerating its business through various initiatives including the drug discovery of the biopharmaceuticals by Perseus Proteomics and the contract manufacturing of biopharmaceuticals by FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies (UK and USA). With the joint venture, Fujifilm will further reinforce the foundation of the biopharmaceutical business, while tapping into its leading-edge proprietary technologies and resources, to provide the market with pharmaceuticals that will help improve and maintain people's health and respond to unmet medical needs.
Kyowa Hakko Kirin is engaged in the creation of innovative pharmaceuticals utilizing its advanced biotechnologies. Through the new joint venture, Kyowa Hakko Kirin will deploy a new business model by merging its own technologies with those of Fujifilm. It will utilize innovative production technologies developed through the new joint venture in the production of its line of pharmaceuticals including therapeutic antibodies. Through these initiatives, the company will be committed to provide high quality pharmaceuticals with low production cost. Kyowa Hakko Kirin will use its cutting-edge biotechnology to create innovative drugs for the core therapeutic areas of oncology, nephrology and immunology, thereby making its contribution to enhance people's health and well-being.