In a move to strengthen its presence in the regenerative field, Fujifilm Holdings said it plans to acquire Cellular Dynamics International (CDI) for $16.5 per share or about $307 million. Once the transaction is completed, CDI will continue to run its operations in Madison, Wisconsin and Novato, California as a consolidated subsidiary of Fujifilm.
The acquisition of CDI will allow Fujifilm to gain entry into the area of iPS cell-based drug discovery support services. CDI's technology platform enables the production of high-quality fully functioning human cells, including induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), on an industrial scale. CDI's iCell product catalogue encompasses 12 different iPSC based cell types, including iCell Cardomyocytes, iCell Hepatocytes, and iCell Neurons. Fujifilm has developed highly biocompatible recombinant peptides that can be shaped into a variety of forms for use as a cellular scaffold in regenerative medicine in conjunction with CDI's products, according to the company.
“CDI and Fujifilm share a common strategic vision for achieving leadership in the field of regenerative medicine,” said Robert J. Palay, chairman and CEO of CDI. “The combination of CDI's technology with Fujifilm's technologies, know-how, and resources brings us ever closer to realizing the promise of discovering better, safer medicines, and developing new cell therapies based on iPSCs.”
In December 2014, Fujifilm acquired a majority of shares of Japan Tissue Engineering (J-TEC). The company said it also plans to benefit from the combination of CDI's iPS cell technology and experience and Fujifilm's expertise in material science, engineering, and J-TEC's quality management systems.
“We have optimal scaffolding material, 'recombinant peptides', for cell generation and technologies useful for regenerative medicines such as material science and engineering,” said Shigetaka Komori, chairman and CEO of Fujifilm. “Our group company, Japan Tissue Engineering, markets regenerative medicine products in Japan. By welcoming CDI to the Fujifilm Group and by combining the technologies and knowhow of both companies, we will seek synergies and efficiencies to be more competitive in the field of drug discovery and regenerative medicine.”
CDI recently announced the completion of 2 cGMP-compliant iPS cell lines with HLA types, which may reduce the likelihood of transplant immune rejection. The company is also developing iPS cells for preclinical studies focused on dry age-related macular degeneration for which it has been awarded a $1.2 million contract from the National Eye Institute.