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Business

Japanese chemical firms pursue diversification

by Jean-François Tremblay
September 12, 2016 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 94, ISSUE 36

Two Japanese chemical companies are advancing their diversification into biologic materials. Asahi Glass, a maker of glass and basic chemicals, is buying Bio­meva, a German contract manufacturer of microbially derived biopharmaceuticals. Founded in 1993, Biomeva operates fermentors with a production capacity of up to 1,000 L and counts major drug firms such as Takeda Pharmaceutical and Bayer among its customers. Asahi Glass is already one of the largest producers of microbially fermented biologics in Japan. Meanwhile, Fujifilm is acquiring a 10% stake in Cynata Therapeutics, an Australian developer of stem-cell-based regenerative medicines. Cynata is developing stem cells that can be used to treat age-related macular degeneration, Parkinson’s disease, and heart disease. Fuji­film made a big push into cellular technology last year with the $300 million purchase of Cellular Dynamics International.

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