Ajinomoto Co., Inc. and JSR Corporation Agree to Collaborate in Development of Global Biopharmaceutical Culture Media Business
TOKYO, September 27, 2022 – Ajinomoto Corporation ("Ajinomoto Co."), through its consolidated subsidiary, Ajinomoto Genexine Corporation ("AGX"), has reached an agreement with JSR Corporation ("JSR"), a leading materials company, to collaborate on the global expansion of its biopharmaceutical culture media business, adding new high-performance media developed by JSR, to Ajinomoto Co.'s product lineup. Sales are scheduled to begin in December 2022.
Currently, the global market for culture media, which is essential for cell culture in biopharmaceutical R&D and manufacturing, is growing at an annual rate of more than 10% due to the growing demand for antibody drugs and vaccines and the expansion of cell and gene therapies. Demand is forecast to grow to more than USD 15 billion*¹ by 2030. Accordingly, demand for CHO cell line culture medium, which has become a mainstream for biomedical use, is expected to increase further.
In this collaboration, Ajinomoto Co. will receive access to the composition of a high-performance culture medium (CELLiST™ BASAL CHO MX) optimized for JSR's CHO-M cell line*², which will be commercialized and manufactured by AGX. AGX will undertake sales in the Asian markets, while JSR will retain exclusive rights to market and sell Basal CHO MX in the U.S. and European markets. In addition to the CHO-M cell line, this product has also been confirmed to exhibit higher antibody productivity in other CHO cell lines than products currently available on the market. (Ajinomoto Co. and JSR research).
Under the Ajinomoto Group Medium-Term Management Plan 2020-2025, the Group is focusing on the biopharmaceutical culture medium business. Ajinomoto Co. has been involved in the development, production, and sale of CHO and other culture media for biopharmaceuticals for more than 30 years. The company’s strengths include bioprocess technologies, which have been cultivated through the supply of amino acids for pharmaceutical and food applications, and the company’s global supply chain of amino acids, which are important raw materials for culture media. Since 2017, Ajinomoto Co. has been selling and marketing biopharmaceutical media under the CELLiST™ brand, mainly in Asia.
JSR, through its JSR Life Sciences division, provides materials for downstream bioprocessing including Amsphere A3 protein A resins and others and a full range of drug discovery and development support services.
Both companies will exhibit the CELLiST™ BASAL CHO MX at BioProcess International 2022, which will be held from September 27-30, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
Michael Lish, General Manager of Amino Science Division, Ajinomoto Co., commented as follows: "Since 2014, we have been supplying high-quality culture media for biopharmaceuticals from our plant in South Korea. We are very honored to have the opportunity to meet the needs of our customers in Europe and the United States through this new market channel. This collaboration is an important measure to grow our culture media business into the second pillar of our amino acid business."
“Ajinomoto is a good fit to commercialize this culture media because of their advanced technology and high quality assurance systems,” said Tim Lowery, Senior Officer, General Manager of Life Sciences Div. “JSR is a materials company at our core, and this collaboration expands our ability to bring our expertise to customers, so we are excited to bring the CELLiST™ BASAL CHO MX to the North American and European markets.”
Ajinomoto Co. and JSR will strengthen their biopharmaceutical culture media business through collaboration for global business development. Ajinomoto Co. will continue to contribute to the development of new medicines through the production and marketing of CELLiST™, a biomedical medium, with the aim of "solving food and health problems through the action of amino acids." As a state-of-the-art technology company, JSR Corporation promotes the advancement and practical application of science based on its corporate mission of Materials Innovation.
*2 CHO: Chinese Hamster Ovary. Cell line that is mainly used in the development and manufacture of biopharmaceuticals. CHO-M: a type of CHO cell line, which was developed independently by Selexis SA, a life sciences group company of JSR
JSR is promoting innovation to provide value to the world's leading-edge industries and exploring next-generation businesses that address social issues, while developing businesses globally with technological strengths centered on the digital solutions and life sciences businesses, including semiconductor materials.
In 2014, AGX a subsidiary of Ajinomoto Co., Inc., established a culture medium plant for the current good manufacturing practice (cGMP) in Incheon, Korea. AGX manufactures cell culture media for CHO cells and provides CMO media services.
The CELLiST™ Customer Solution Center (CSC), owned by AGX provides troubleshooting and support services to customers in Korea and around the world, in addition to research and development for the improvement of CELLiST™ media products.