Hitachi brings cell therapy biz to Europe through $86m apceth buy

Hitachi Chemical will add two production plants and 600m2 of cleanroom through the acquisition of German cell therapy manufacturing firm apceth Biopharma.

The deal, expected to close in April, sees Japanese firm Hitachi acquire all shares of apceth for JPY 9.4 billion ($86 million) from Santo Holding GmbH, FCP Biotech Holding GmbH and other individual shareholders.

apceth has around 120 employees operating from its site in Munich, Germany. The site includes two GMP/BSL2 cell and gene therapy production facilities, including 600 m2 of cleanroom area.

Image: iStock/krung99

Hitachi is a relatively recent entrant in the regenerative medicines space, having bought cell therapy contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) PCT Cell Therapy Services from Caldrius Biosciences for $75 million in 2017.

The division, operating under the name Hitachi Chemical Advanced Therapeutics Solutions (HCATS), has a recently expanded site in New Jersey, a plant in California and a facility in Yokohama, Japan that began commercial operations in April 2018. But the acquisition of apceth is the firm’s first step into the European market.

“apceth Biopharma will be integrated in to the Regenerative Medicine business sector and will be the pillar of the European operations,” apceth spokesperson Almut Windhager told BioProcess Insider.

“The addition of apceth Biopharma to Hitachi Chemical will strengthen our presence in the second-largest cell and gene therapy market in the world, and enable us to offer a truly harmonized global operation, providing our customers with ready access to new markets and maximizing the value we bring to the industry,” Robert Preti, CEO of HCATS, said.

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