JSR launches biotech fund to advance its life science business

JSR has launched a corporate venture fund focusing on small and emerging biotech, bringing customers to its life sciences services portfolio.  

Initially, the fund will prioritise evolving life science companies that have the platforms, technologies and approaches to support life science research, manufacturing, development, and the ability to improve therapeutic outcomes.

JSR Life Sciences is set to leverage the investment to fund several deals in the next few years in a bid to continue identifying and advancing therapies and technologies. JSR has appointed Jason Zhang to lead the project and facilitate the fund’s aims.

Image/iStock: Worawut Prasuwan

“The fund will leverage affiliates’ existing relationships or potential new relationships with emerging innovative companies for deal flows and also use group companies’ brain power for vetting and validation,” life science investment and business development executive, Zhang told BioProcess Insider.

“The fund will connect JSR with the large biotech industry via its investment process to bring in new clients and also identify business expansion or acquisition targets. And we do envision that, in many cases, the companies we invest in will become customers for one or more of our affiliates.”

Service opportunities

From contract research, to cell-line development, and contract manufacturing, JSR offers a range of biopharma services.

In 2015, the firm acquired contract development manufacturing organization (CDMO) KBI Biopharma that offers manufacturing services for microbial, cell therapy, and mammalian programs.

Two years later, JSR added Swiss cell-line developer, Selexis to its acquisitions. Selexis is a pioneering life sciences company and global leader in mammalian (suspension-adapted CHO-K1) cell-line generation technologies and has recently made four deals in one month.

In the same year, JSR made its largest life-science investment to date when it purchased Crown Bioscience for 12 billion New Taiwan Dollar ($419 million). This added contract research to its services as Crown Bioscience provides translational platforms to advance inflammation, metabolic disease, and oncology research.

In supporting small biotech’s through the corporate venture fund, the biotech’s will reciprocate this support through using JSR’s services. A spokesperson told us “This news is important because JSR is uniquely positioned to understand the needs of the market with respect to early-stage research, discovery, and technology that improves clinical outcomes.”

Leave a Reply