US cell-development company Cellular Dynamics International acquired

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

US cell-development company Cellular Dynamics International acquired
Fujifilm will pay $307m to add biotechnology company CDI to its business division focused on regenerative medicine and functional skin care cosmetics.

CDI manufactures multiple human cell types at an industrial scale and currently serves customers working in cellular therapeutics, drug discovery and other biopharmaceutical ventures.

Money matters
On Monday Fujifilm and CDI announced their agreement. Fujifilm will acquire the cell manufacturer by purchasing all issued and outstanding CDI shares at $16.5 per share through an all-cash tender offer by or before Monday 6 April. The offer is expected to close by Q2 of this year.

“Upon completion of the transaction, CDI will continue to run its operations in Madison, Wisconsin and Novato, California as a consolidated subsidiary of Fujifilm​,” stated the companies’ joint media release about the deal.

Business potential
CDI works closely with biopharma and regenerative medicine. The acquisition by Fujifilm could bring the CDI technology platform to new industries.

Fujifilm has produced cosmetic products for the Japanese market since 2006, within its healthcare sector. Genetic engineering has played a part in that business.

“Fujifilm has succeeded in reproducing exactly the same collagen peptide as is found in human bodies,”​ the company explained when the healthcare division launched. And combining the expertise and technology of CDI with Fujifilm’s existing R&D could lead to further valuable developments.

“We are delighted to be able to pursue the business from drug discovery to regenerative medicine with CDI, which develops and manufactures iPS cells,”​ said Shigetaka Komori, chairman and CEO of Fujifilm, in the media release.

“We have optimal scaffolding material, 'recombinant peptides', for cell generation and technologies useful for regenerative medicines such as material science and engineering….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,"​ he commented. 

Consumers pay close attention to companies that test cosmetics on animals and many opt not to buy from those brands. At the same time, brands are invested in delivering safe, thoroughly tested products to the consumer. That’s why we see companies like L’Oreal at work on bioprinted skin for cosmetics testing​.

With this acquisition, Fujifilms will have the capacity to produce human cells “in a dish,”​ as the CDI site terms that company’s cell manufacturing platform. Perhaps under new ownership, this biofabrication technology will lead to further product development and testing opportunities for the cosmetics industry.

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