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Fujifilm, Piramal simplify complexities
December 2012
by Jeffrey Bouley  |  Email the author


MORRISVILLE, N.C.—Recognizing a "growing niche in the development of biopharmaceuticals," Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies in late October entered into a strategic alliance with Piramal Healthcare UK Ltd., under which the two companies will offer what they call "the seamless contract development and manufacture" of antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs).
The pair maintains that the deal will allow customers to benefit from the experience and assets of both organizations, while simplifying the supply chain and vendor management relationships, leading to shorter time to clinic.
For Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies, this alliance is part of an ongoing program to expand its offering in mammalian-based biopharmaceuticals. The company recently announced an expansion of its cGMP manufacturing facilities at its sites both in Research Triangle Park, N.C., in the United States and Billingham in the United Kingdom.
Pointing to the respective strengths of the allied companies, Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies points out that it is one of the world's leading providers of contract development and manufacturing services for biopharmaceuticals, while Piramal is a world leader in antibody-drug conjugation. Their combined experience includes work on more than 150 biopharmaceuticals, as well as more than 300 batches of ADCs spanning more than 30 different new chemical entities, including the world's only FDA-approved ADC.  
"We started talking in March," recalls Dr. Mark Douglas, director of strategic business development for Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies. "We wanted to extend our business and realized that exciting things were happening in the ADC space and Piramal was involved in a lot of that excitement. We had encouragement from a lot of customers to establish a sort of one-stop shop offering, and they really wanted us to give that a go, especially if it was going to be with Piramal."
"From the Piramal perspective, we were just starting to look at establishing collaborative partnerships with other parts of the ADC supply chain," adds Piramal's Aidan Walker, who is president of Formulations Services. "While we had a strong position in conjugation chemistry, we had no capabilities in biologics or API, for example, and many of our customers had concerns about the complexity of the supply chain. They wanted that supply chain simplified, and pairing with Fujifilm achieved that."
Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies touts extensive experience in the development and manufacturing of recombinant proteins, vaccines and monoclonal antibodies, among other large molecules expressed in a wide array of microbial, mammalian and insect systems. The company offers a comprehensive list of services from cell line development, including its proprietary pAVEway system to process development, analytical development, clinical and commercial manufacturing.  
For its part, Piramal Healthcare UK's parent company, Piramal Enterprises, is one of India's largest diversified companies, with a presence in pharmaceutical, diagnostics, healthcare financial services and information management sectors.  
"We are delighted to combine with Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies to offer a seamless service to customers for the production of antibody conjugates," Walker noted in the news release announcing the deal. "Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies has a long track-record in delivering successful biologics programs, and this alliance will combine strengths from both companies for the benefit of our customers, and ultimately patients."  
In the same news release, Stephen Taylor, commercial vice president of Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies, said, "This strategic alliance with Piramal is an important step for us in bringing a new, high-technology offering to the marketplace. Our customers will benefit from high quality, consistent material, rapid service and shorter logistical chains, saving time on the critical path of drug development. Piramal is a recognized world-leader in this area and we are delighted to be partnering with them."
Code: E121228



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