Sosei acquires Jitsubo, a Japanese peptide technology company

Monday, December 15, 2014

Sosei Group, a global biopharmaceutical company of Japanese origin, will acquire all existing shares of and underwrite a third-party allocation of new shares of Jitsubo, a Japanese peptide technology company. Jitsubo will become a consolidated subsidiary of the group.

Sosei Group has successfully secured a steady revenue stream from milestones and royalty payments from COPD products licensed to Novartis (Seebri Breezhaler and Ultibro Breezhaler). However, in order to further enhance its corporate value, the group has been looking for new pipeline candidates that could augment the revenue inflow from the two marketed Novartis products.

As a result, Sosei Group has identified and resolved to acquire Jitsubo, a company with a cutting-edge peptide technology. Together with APNT (the nanoparticle technology of the group’s subsidiary, Activus Pharma), Jitsubo’s technology is expected to play an important role in achieving the mid-long term strategic goals of the group.

Jitsubo was established in April 2005 by Professor Kazuhiro Chiba of the United Graduate School of Agricultural Science, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, with the aim of bringing a commercial focus to his scientific findings. The company is focused on development of peptide generic products and identification of new drug candidates based on the novel peptide synthesis technology, Molecular Hiving, and the molecule modification technology, Peptune. Together, these technologies enable efficient synthesis and isolation of peptide analogue compounds.

Considerable expectation is placed on peptides as the next generation of drugs, as their smaller molecular weight compared to proteins facilitates organic synthesis. Additionally, due to higher mass and molecular diversity of peptides compared with small molecular weight compounds, it is anticipated that they may enable access to therapeutic targets that are difficult to control with small molecule treatments. There currently are over 50 marketed peptide products, and the peptide market is expected to reach $23 billion by 2020.

The two Jitsubo peptide generic products, as well as other drug candidates that are expected to follow in the future, will help replenish the group’s existing pipeline and further enhance corporate value.

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