Fujifilm acquires JXTG units to boost biomedical business

The $800 million deal will give Fujifilm a wider portfolio in cell culture products and regenerative medicine.

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Fujifilm has agreed to acquire two biotechnology units of Japan's JXTG Holdings Inc. in a deal designed to expand the firm's presence in regenerative medicine.

On Thursday, Fujifilm said the company has acquired all outstanding shares of the two JXTG units, the Irvine Scientific Sales Company (ISUS) and IS Japan (ISJ).

In a statement, the tech giant said the stock purchase agreement is worth roughly $800 million.

"To advance its growth strategies in the healthcare area, Fujifilm continues to invest in contract development and manufacturing of biopharmaceuticals and regenerative medicine," Fujifilm said.

ISUS and ISJ, based in Santa Ana, California, and Toda, Saitama respectively, are prominent companies in the cell culture media arena.

Culture media, which is created to contain nutrients for the growth and culturing of cells, is a key ingredient in cell culturing which is required for research in regenerative medicine, pharmaceuticals, and other medical products.

The use of cells in stem cell research, personalized medicine, antibody drugs, and more has prompted high demand for cell culture media.

Fujifilm says that the industry is expected to grow annually by at least 10 percent in the coming years.

ISUS and ISJ already have a wide product portfolio in this area, including culture media for biopharmaceutical production, in vitro fertilization, and cell therapy.

Fujifilm acquired Wako Pure Chemical Industries in 2016. With the further purchase of ISUS and ISJ, the company says that "Fujifilm will now be able to provide a broad product portfolio from biopharmaceuticals to in vitro fertilization and cell therapy, strengthening its global business" through Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies (FDB).

"Fujifilm will accelerate the development of highly competitive cell culture media, supporting the further growth of its cell culture media business," the company added.

The tech giant also expects that a broader portfolio will also prompt more contract business in pharmaceutics, improved research in the area of regenerative medicine, and an expansion in the firm's businesses relating to reagents, otherwise known as chemical reactions.

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Fujifilm is current battling shareholders in relation to a planned takeover of photocopier giant Xerox. The merger has been touted as a way to restructure the business and cut costs, but investors argue that the plan is "tortured" and "convoluted."

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