Fujifilm Kyowa Kirin Biologics starts operations

The jv between Fujifilm and Kyowa Hakko Kirin will develop, manufacture and sell biosimilars

Japanese photographic film specialist Fujifilm and Kyowa Hakko Kirin have launched their biosimilar joint venture, which was announced last November.

Fujifilm Kyowa Kirin Biologics will merge Fujifilm's production, quality control and analysis technologies ‘developed through its photographic film business over many years’, with Kyowa Hakko Kirin's expertise, accumulated through its biopharmaceutical r&d and manufacturing. The firms aim ‘to create revolutionary production processes and to achieve cost reduction for biosimilars’ and become a market leader.

The jv will initially focus on the development of a biosimilar of Abbott Laboratories’ fully human anti-TNF-α monoclonal antibody Humira (adalimumab), a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis.

Fujifilm Kyowa Kirin Biologics plans to start clinical trials of the biosimilar in the beginning of 2013 and is aiming for market introduction ‘four to five years after’. It also plans to start clinical trials of one biosimilar every year after 2014 and says it intends to hold talks with other companies for collaborations.

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