Ajinomoto agreed to take over Althea Technologies, a contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO), by acquiring all of the company’s capital stock for $175 million. According to an Ajinomoto official, the CMDO market is estimated at $2.3 billion and double-digit growth is expected.

“In combining Ajinomoto’s experience in biotechnology, together with Althea’s sophisticated technology, experienced personnel, and expertise in cGMP manufacturing, we aspire to expand our business for biopharmaceuticals manufacturing in the U.S. market and strengthen our advanced biomedical businesses,” said Masatoshi Ito, Ajinomoto’s president and CEO.

This year Ajinomoto has made a number of deals that confirm its keen interest in the biomedical field. Just last week it announced plans to invest approximately $13.9 million to double production capacity for amino acids for use in pharmaceuticals and foods at its subsidiary Shanghai Ajinomoto Amino Acid Co. The expansion is scheduled to come on line in October.

In February, Ajinomoto Genexine, its joint venture with Genexine Co., reported plans to construct a new plant in the South Korea for cell culture media for biopharmaceutical production. The new plant, which will cost about $30 million, is scheduled to begin full-scale operation in July 2014.

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