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BiotechnologyFUJIFILM completes acquisition of Kalon Biotherapeutics

Published 30 December 2014

Morrisville, North Carolina-based FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies U.S.A. Inc. (FDBU), a FUJIFILM Corporation subsidiary, has completed its acquisition of College Station, Texas-based Kalon Biotherapeutics LLC. The two companies say this is another step toward making the Texas biosciences industry into a center for development and manufacturing of biopharmaceuticals and biotechnology. Kalon is a biopharmaceutical contract manufacturing organization (CMO) with advanced technologies and facilities, developing and manufacturing medical countermeasures to protect public health in emergencies, including incidents of bioterrorism or an outbreak of pandemic influenza.

Morrisville, North Carolina-based FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies U.S.A. Inc. (FDBU), a FUJIFILM Corporation subsidiary, has completed its acquisition of College Station, Texas-based Kalon Biotherapeutics LLC. The two companies say this is another step toward making the Texas biosciences industry into a center for development and manufacturing of biopharmaceuticals and biotechnology. The acquisition will provide FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies with expanded capacity for its growing vaccine capabilities.

“Healthcare business, above all, the pharmaceutical business, is one of Fujifilm’s focal areas,” said Shigehiro Nakajima, president & COO, FUJIFILM Holdings Corporation. “This acquisition provides an important addition to our business, bringing together diverse capabilities and technical expertise in the area of biopharmaceuticals.”

“This acquisition further reinforces Fujifilm’s global leadership and commitment to the biopharmaceutical industry,” said Steve Bagshaw, CEO, FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies. “Our scientific and manufacturing leadership will be strengthened by adding Kalon’s viral and cell culture vaccine expertise and capabilities to our existing competencies in microbial, mammalian and insect cell process development, analytics, and commercial production.”

Founded in 2011 by the A&M System, Kalon is a biopharmaceutical contract manufacturing organization (CMO) with advanced technologies and facilities. It is a key subcontractor to one of the three Centers for Innovation in Advanced Development and Manufacturing (CIADM) awarded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to develop and manufacture medical countermeasures to protect public health in emergencies, including incidents of bioterrorism or an outbreak of pandemic influenza. The State of Texas provided funding for the development and support of this center though the Texas Emerging Technology Fund.

“Today’s signing represents an important next step and an exciting new chapter for the State of Texas, which is fast becoming a global leader in biotechnology and pharmaceutical manufacturing,” Governor Rick Perry said. “The Texas A&M Center for Innovation in Advanced Development and Manufacturing is at the forefront of an exciting new method to produce life-saving treatments and vaccines, and I’m proud of the role the state has played in helping shape Texas into America’s ‘Third Coast’ in biotechnology.”

FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies is taking an ownership position in Kalon Biotherapeutics, allowing an expansion of Fujifilm’s capabilities to include viruses and viral/vaccine-based products and services. This investment will also provide leveraged biotechnology workforce recruitment to Texas and drive the state’s expansion in biotechnology and biopharmaceuticals.

“Fujifilm’s acquisition of Kalon proves the tremendous value of public-private partnerships, and the importance of creating an environment in which they can succeed,” said John Sharp, chancellor of The Texas A&M University System. “The State of Texas and the A&M System are delivering on a joint promise to help businesses develop and to create jobs. I applaud the Texas A&M System Board of Regents for their unwavering support in building Kalon and positioning it for this transaction.”

Texas has a dynamic biotechnology marketplace that yields an estimated annual economic impact of $75 billion. In 2013, one out of every fifteen U.S. biotechnology establishments was located in Texas. The A&M System played an important role in the establishment and growth of the biotech industry in Texas. Texas A&M System notes that under its guidance, the Bryan-College Station region has become a premier biotech location and international leader in all three areas of discovery, combining plant, animal, and human scientific breakthroughs. Biotech companies from across the world are using the infrastructure pipeline at the A&M System and the surrounding corridor for speed-to-market services.

“When we first created Kalon in 2011, we set out to change the world through the rapid production of life-saving vaccines and therapeutics. The vision and investment by the state of Texas and the Texas A&M System have been critical to Kalon’s success to date,” said Kalon founding president Andrew Strong. “Now, with the combined strength and capability of FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies, the world’s leading global biotechnology service company, and Kalon, I have no doubt that we are able to emphatically answer the world-wide call for the discovery, testing and manufacturing of vaccines and therapeutics that can prevent diseases or cure the critically ill.”