Fujifilm pays $800m for cell culture media firm Irvine Scientific

By Dan Stanton

- Last updated on GMT

Fujifilm has acquired Irvine Scientific, adding a range of cell culture media to its growing bioprocessing business.

The multinational paid around $800m (€650m) for Irvine Scientific and IS Japan from fellow Japanese-headquartered firm JXTG Nippon Oil & Energy Corporation.

The deal adds a range of media for industrial cell culture, assisted reproductive technology, cytogenics and regenerative medicines.

“Culture media is indispensable for cell culturing in the research and development and manufacturing of biopharmaceuticals and regenerative medicine products,”​ spokesperson Shohei Kawasaki told Biopharma-Reporter.

“Global demand is rapidly growing by approximately 10% annually.”

According to Kawasaki, the addition will allow it to combine media technologies and products with Fujifilm Group’s biomedical businesses, boosting its contract development and manufacturing organisation (CDMO) division as well as its regenerative medicine R&D unit.

He added that incorporating the cell culture media technology of Irvine will create “opportunities to offer further improved production efficiencies and ensure greater customer satisfaction and expansion of its business by supplying higher-quality antibodies for antibody drugs, in a timely manner to customers.”

Meanwhile for Fujifilm’s regenerative medicine business, Irvine’s products brings “more efficient production of regenerative medicine for contract manufacturing business in addition to in-house production.”


Recent Irvine Scientific product launches include a xeno-free GMP medium for hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs)​, a xeno-free medium for T-cell cultures​, and a chemically defined media for human embryonic kidney (HEK293) cells.

The firm also expanded a dry powder media facility in Santa Ana, California last year​.

Bio growth

Fujifilm Corporation has been increasing its presence in the bioprocessing space since acquiring the Diosynth and MSD Biologics divisions from Merck & Co. in 2011​. The company’s strategy​ is to reach revenues of ¥100bn ($940m) in its bio-CDMO business by 2024, three times that of its 2016 sales.

Last year​ the firm invested $130m into its CDMO business, expanding its single-use mammalian cell culture capacity at sites in the US and UK. Fujifilm has also opened a commercial gene therapy plant in Texas earlier this year​.

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