CJ Cheil Jedang diversifies business into gene therapy CDMO by acquiring Dutch firm Batavia

By Lim Chang-won Posted : November 8, 2021, 17:50 Updated : November 8, 2021, 17:50

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SEOUL -- CJ Cheil Jedang, a key subsidiary of South Korea's food and entertainment conglomerate CJ Group, diversified its business portfolio into a contract development and manufacturing organization market for cell gene therapy by acquiring Batavia Biosciences, a biotechnology company based in the Netherlands, that specializes in vaccine, monoclonal antibody and recombinant protein development.

In a regulatory filing on November 8, CJ Cheiljedang said its board approved the proposed acquisition of a 75.82 percent stake in Batavia Biosciences for 267.7 billion won ($226 million). The Dutch company's existing major shareholder was allowed to retain management as the second-largest shareholder.

With the acquisition of Batavia Biosciences, CJ Cheil Jedang said it can expand its Red Bio (health and medical) business. The South Korean company would receive work from next-generation bio-medicine development companies such as cell, gene therapy, and anti-cancer virus treatment to produce raw materials, clinical trial samples, and commercial drugs.

Batavia Biosciences focuses on accelerating the transition of biopharmaceutical candidates from discovery to the clinic with improved success rates and lower costs. The deal heralds CJ Cheil Jedang's entry into a contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO).

"We will prepare to leap to a global biopharmaceutical production base through rapid facility expansion," an unnamed CJ Cheil Jedang official said in a statement, adding the Dutch company has built long-term partnerships with customers based on core technologies and manufacturing capabilities. Cheil Jedang is the world's largest producer of lysine, an amino acid used as additives for animal feed and food additives. The company has pushed for white biotechnology that uses living cells to synthesize easily degradable products.

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