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Fujifilm acquires Danish biologics unit from Biogen for $890 million

Biogen Denmark

Japan’s Fujifilm Holdings Corp will acquire a drug making business from the U.S. based Biogen Inc for about $890 million.

With this acquisition Fujifilm aims to accelerate the growth of its Bio CDMO business.

Large-scale biologics manufacturing site located in Hillerød

Fujifilm has entered into an agreement to acquire the Danish Biogen Manufacturing ApS, a large-scale biologics manufacturing site located in Hillerød near Copenhagen, Denmark from Biogen for approximately US$890 million in cash.

Biogen Hillerød is equipped with 6 x 15,000 L bioreactors for the manufacture of cell culture derived biologics. This facility will significantly expand the capacity and capabilities of Fujifilm and provides a line of sight to large production volumes through “scale up”, thus complimenting the current “scale out” manufacturing model implemented under its Saturn mAb services, it states.

Upon closure of this transaction, Biogen Hillerød will become Fujifilm’s fourth biopharmaceutical contract development and manufacturing site. The existing workforce at the site, which consists of approximately 800 employees, will be retained by Fujifilm.

The company expects the acquisition of the Biogen unit to be completed in August.

Commitment to grow the Bio CDMO Business

“At Fujifilm, our goal has always been to bring new value to society, through innovation and the creation of new technologies, products and services. We are pleased to contribute to the growing healthcare industry through this investment,” said Shigetaka Komori, chairman and chief executive officer of FUJIFILM Corporation. “This significant investment demonstrates our continued commitment to grow the Bio CDMO Business and become an industry leader by combining resources of Biogen Hillerød and Fujifilm.”

“We are proud to combine the talent and expertise of the Biogen Hillerød employees with FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies’ capabilities as an industry-leading CDMO,” said Paul McKenzie, Ph.D., executive vice president, pharmaceutical operations and technology at Biogen. “These world-class facilities are rivalled only by the experience and capabilities of the Biogen Hillerød team with approximately 800 employees, and we look forward to leveraging these skills for the benefit of current and future customers.”

Experience in development and manufacture of a variety of biologics

Fujifilm will extend the service of its Fill/Finish services in fiscal year ending March 2021 to include cGMP aseptic filling of recombinant proteins for its full service CDMO approach. In addition, it introduced next generation mammalian expression system, Apollo X. Through capital investment and the development of technologies, Fujifilm has now expertise in the development and manufacture of a variety of biologics including recombinant proteins, monoclonal antibodies, viral vaccines and gene therapies, and it will continue to further expand the business, it states.

The business is expected to earn about 40 billion yen in fiscal 2018

After the acquisition, Fujifilm aims to achieve its 100 billion yen ($900 million) revenue target in its CDMO business by 2021, two years ahead of its original goal. The business is expected to earn about 40 billion yen in fiscal 2018, reported Reuters.

Fujifilm has made multiple strategic acquisitions over recent years that expand and diversify its healthcare portfolio; this was most recently demonstrated by the acquisition of Irvine Scientific, which became a Fujifilm company on June 1, 2018.

Photo: Biogen Denmark