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Fujifilm to Buy North Carolina-Based Diosynth RTP Inc.

Carolina Headlines - Bioscience

TOKYO – Fujifilm Corp. said Monday it will acquire two subsidiaries of U.S. pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK), making full-fledged inroads into biopharmaceutical operations such as production of cancer drugs. Under the agreement with Merck, the world's second largest pharmaceutical company, Fujifilm will acquire all shares in North Carolina-based Diosynth RTP Inc. and in MSD Biologics Ltd., based in Billingham, northeast England, for undisclosed sums at the end of March.

The two wholly owned Merck subsidiaries are engaged in contract manufacturing and development services for the biopharmaceutical industry.

''This acquisition provides an important addition to our pharmaceutical business with diverse capabilities and technical expertise in production of protein therapeutics,'' Shigetaka Komori, president of Fujifilm, said in a statement.

Demand for biopharmaceuticals, which utilize such elements as proteins, is expected to see high growth as the products can be applied to remedies for cancer and rheumatism. Biopharmaceuticals possess such advantages as having high efficacy and few side effects.

Fujifilm has been expanding its pharmaceutical operations, aiming to increase sales in the medical field, including medical equipment, to about 1 trillion yen by the business year ending March 2019 from about 260 billion yen posted in fiscal 2009, which ended in March last year.

In 2008, the Tokyo-based company acquired Toyama Chemical Co., a long-standing drugmaker known for expertise in supplying medicines to hospitals.

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