Fujifilm will acquire U.S. vaccine maker Kalon Biotherapeutics to expand its biopharmaceutical business, with the Japanese firm having gained prominence for offering a possible treatment for Ebola patients.
A Fujifilm subsidiary in the United States signed last Wednesday an agreement with the owners of Kalon, including the State of Texas, to acquire 49 percent of the total membership interest in Kalon for several billions of yen by the end of the year, Fujifilm said.
The subsidiary, Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies U.S.A. Inc., will be entitled to appoint a majority of Kalon’s board members. It may later raise its share in Kalon up to 100 percent, depending on achievement of certain stages in the development of their relations, set forth in the agreement.
The acquisition of Kalon, which makes vaccines on a contract basis, will help Fujifilm enter the growing market, the Tokyo-based photo film and business machinery maker said.
A newcomer to the pharmaceutical industry, Fujifilm gained the global spotlight after its anti-influenza drug was used to treat patients infected with the Ebola virus.
The company said last week it will additionally produce the drug Avigan Tablets, or Favipiravir, developed by another subsidiary, in preparation for their administration to a larger number of Ebola patients. The deadly virus has killed thousands in West Africa and infections have also been confirmed in the United States and Europe.