IHI Corporation, located in Tokyo, Japan, is a leading heavy industrial company and its annual sales at the period on March, 2014 were 1,304.0 billion yen (current profit is 53.2 billion yen). IHI provides aero-engine and space technology, pharmaceutical plants, industrial machinery, social infrastructure and physical distribution systems. IHI's pharmaceutical processing plant provides total solutions for engineering, procurement, construction, and start-up for plant construction with extensive experience in both domestic and international markets. IHI and UMN Pharma executed an agreement for the formation of a joint venture focused on the production of drug substance through the use of cell culture, for influenza vaccine, please see here. The manufacturing company “UNIGEN Inc.” was established in Akita City on April 1, 2011 as a joint venture with UMN Pharma Inc. to co-manufacture cell based influenza vaccine.
API Co., Ltd. founded in 1907 as a beekeeping company expanded their business into contract manufacturing for dietary supplements and in 2004 started contract manufacturing for pharmaceuticals. API's annual sales at the period on August, 2013 were 28.6 billion yen (current profit is 1.4 billion yen). API's pharmaceutical plant located in Ikeda Town of Gifu Prefecture went online in March of 2005 as a state-of-the-art contract manufacturing plant for antibiotics. After obtaining the permission of the industry for an aseptic medicine in December of 2009, API entrusted the GMP conforming-medicine manufacturing to major pharmaceutical companies worldwide. API and UMN Pharma have signed an agreement forming a comprehensive business alliance focused on the formulation process of UMN Pharma’s influenza vaccine through the use of cell culture, please see here.
The Protein Sciences Corporation (PSC), which is located in Meriden, Connecticut in the USA, is a bio-venture corporation that focuses on the research, development, manufacture, and sale of innovative vaccines and biopharmaceuticals. PSC’s BEVS (Baculovirus Expression Vector System) technology can be used to produce high-quality recombinant protein-based vaccines and biopharmaceuticals in as little as 8 weeks. In January 2013, PSC received FDA approval for their seasonal influenza vaccine, Flublok®, please see here. PSC is also developing other products that include a pandemic influenza vaccine, a SARS vaccine, and recombinant neuraminidase, which is an efficacy-enhancing additive for influenza vaccines. In August 2006, UMN Pharma contracted for the exclusive right to develop, manufacture, and sell Flublok in Japan, please see here. In addition, UMN Pharma then also obtained exclusive commercialization rights for Flublok in China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan in November 2010, please see here.
Astellas Pharma Inc., located in Tokyo, Japan, is a pharmaceutical company dedicated to improving the health of people around the world through the provision of innovative and reliable pharmaceutical products. Astellas has approximately 17,500 employees worldwide with annual sales at the period on March, 2014 of 1,164.5 billion yen (current profit is 170.8 billion yen), which places Astellas in 2nd place domestically. Astellas is committed to becoming a global category leader by rapidly establishing a business model in urology, immunology & infectious diseases, neuroscience, diabetic complications & metabolic diseases and oncology. Astellas and UMN Pharma Inc. entered into a definitive agreement on August 16, 2010, please see here, to co-develop and exclusively commercialize in Japan UMN-0501 and UMN-0502, which are cell culture based influenza vaccine programs being developed by UMN Pharma.
In April of 2011, Astellas established a vaccine business corporate unit to build its global strategy for entering the vaccine arena.
ILDONG Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., located in Seoul, Korea, is a growing pharmaceutical company established in 1941 dedicated to contributing to healthier and happier lives. ILDONG has a strong sales force, especially in the areas of anti-cancer drugs and antibiotics with annual sales at the period ending December, 2011 of 3,384 billion won, which places ILDONG in 7th place domestically in South Korean pharmaceuticals. ILDONG is actively involved in business partnership with overseas companies, including companies in Japan. ILDONG and UMN Pharma Inc. entered into a definitive agreement on December 28, 2012, please see here, to co-develop and exclusively commercialize in South Korea UMN-0502, UMN-0501 and UMN-0901, which are cell culture based influenza vaccine programs being developed by UMN Pharma.
The University of Tampere is located in Tampere, which is Finland’s second largest city, and which is renowned for its many lakes and ponds. The Vaccine Research Center, which is operated by the University of Tampere Medical School, is a key research institution that conducts both national and global based clinical vaccine trials via use of its extensive networks. The Center’s director, Dr. Timo Vesikari, is a Professor of Virology and Chief of the Pediatric Infectious Disease at the Department of Pediatrics of the Tampere University Hospital. He was involved in the clinical research of the first live oral rotavirus vaccine and served as a clinical investigator of the Rotarix® clinical trial (GSK) and as the principal investigator of the RotaTeq® (Merck）clinical study “REST”. In February 2012, UMN Pharma obtained exclusive rights to commercialize the combined norovirus and rotavirus vaccine for use in the prevention of viral gastroenteritis, please see here. UMN Pharma intends to continue developing vaccines in collaboration with the Vaccine Research Center and the guidance of Professor Vesikari.
Catalent Pharma Solutions is a global pharmaceutical services company that provides total solutions for the research, development, production, and distribution of drugs. It has more than 75 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and consumer healthcare fields, along with 20 years of experience in the biotechnology industry. Catalent owns the rights to more than 1,200 intellectual properties related to drug delivery and packaging, and boasts that it supported 40% of the new drugs approved. Catalent’s GPEx® technology (a highly efficient protein expression technology) was introduced non-exclusively by UMN Pharma in December 2012, please see here. The highly stable and productive cell lines created by GPEx® technology combined with world-class plants and manufacturing technologies of UMN Pharma enable the development of high quality but low cost biosimilars.
Yakult Honsha is a leading producer of lactobacillus-based beverages that also manufactures cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. It was founded in April 1955 as an umbrella company in an integration of various independent local Yakult sales companies. Its annual sales for the period ending March 2014 totaled 350.3 billion yen (current profit of 39.5 billion yen). Yakult Honsha, mainly focuses on the manufacture and sales of food, beverages, and pharmaceuticals. Its excellent national and international track records in the research, development, and sales of cancer-related drugs have resulted in Yakult Honsha, having established a solid reputation in the pharmaceutical industry. In March 2013, UMN Pharma and API signed a letter of intent to cooperate with Yakult Honsha, in the research, development, and commercialization of oncological biosimilars, please see here. This then led to a tripartite joint venture agreement in June 2013.