Asahi Kasei Medical acquires US biologics CDMO business

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/fotostorm
© GettyImages/fotostorm

Related tags recombinant protein Antibody drug conjugates Biologics CDMO Contract manufacturing

Bionova Scientific, a US biologics CDMO, is to be acquired by the US arm of Asahi Kasei Medical, part of the Asahi Kasei Group, owned by Tokyo based Asahi Kasei Corporation.

Asahi Kasei Medical, through the deal, adds a biopharmaceutical contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) to its bioprocess business. Bionova specializes in the development and manufacture of recombinant protein therapeutics.

“After an in-depth evaluation of Bionova and other biologics CDMOs, we are extremely impressed with Bionova’s scientific strength, their best-in-class facility and their passionate team that is both highly technically capable and extremely attentive to customer needs. They are the ideal organization to serve as the foundation for our entry into the biopharmaceutical CDMO services,”​ said Ken Shinomiya, director Asahi Kasei Medical and head of the bioprocess business.

The closing of the acquisition is subject to the standard regulatory clearances.

A portfolio company of Great Point Partners, a Greenwich, Connecticut headquartered private investment firm focused on the health care industry, Bionova has more than 100 employees.

The CDMO operates a 11,000 sq. ft. (1021.93 m2) commercial ready GMP biologics manufacturing facility located within its 57,000 sq. ft. headquarters, in the heart of the San Francisco Bay biotech cluster. Those facilities also include process development and analytical laboratories, and a second 22,000 sq. ft. building with GMP warehouse space.

Process development and GMP manufacturing operations are key to the overall success of biopharma customers’ businesses and to the launch of new drugs, and Bionova’s process development capabilities are highly regarded in the industry, said Asahi Kasei Medical.

ADC manufacturing capabilities 

The CDMO, it continued, has a rich track record regarding complex next-generation antibody drugs, such as antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) and bispecific antibodies, which are typically challenging to manufacture, due to their degree of complexity and sophistication of mechanism of action.

Its GMP manufacturing facility has state-of-the-art equipment including single-use bioreactors, suited to meet rising demand driven by the expansion of the antibody drug market and a steep increase in the number of biopharmaceuticals entering the clinical pipeline.”

The acquisition represents a "strategic complementary addition"​ to Asahi Kasei Medical’s bioprocess business; the company has also been acquiring assets in the field of biosafety contract testing of late with its purchase, in 2019, of Austrian viral safety testing services provider, Virusure Forschung und Entwicklung GmbH, followed by the 2021 acquisition of US-based mycoplasma testing services provider Bionique Testing Laboratories LLC.

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