Content - JSR Life Sciences acquires Swiss cell developer Selexis

  • July 11, 2017

JSR Life Sciences acquires Swiss cell developer Selexis

Tokyo (SCCIJ) – JSR Corporation will acquire Selexis SA from Plan-les-Ouates, Switzerland, a pioneering life sciences company and global leader in cell-line generation technologies, to strengthen the business of its subsidiary KBI Biopharma. Selexis will be integrated within KBI Biopharma’s operations to create the most robust and fastest “Gene to GMP (Guanosine monophosphate)” service offering in the biopharmaceutical industry. The terms of the sales and the purchase agreement were not disclosed. Shortly after the deal, Takeda, the largest pharmaceutical company in Japan, entered a commercial license agreement with Selexis to get access to its high-performance research cell banks. Takeda is leveraging Selexis’ mammalian cell line-based protein expression platform to develop recombinant fusion proteins.

Swiss biotech firm Selexis

Cell line development technology  

“Selexis has the best-in-class cell line development technology and offers the ability to solve some of the most difficult expression challenges in biologics development,” said Eric R. Johnson, President of JSR’s Life Sciences Division. “The Selexis technologies seamlessly integrate into the biologics development continuum, spanning discovery to commercialization. This allows us – in conjunction with KBI Biopharma – to move one step closer in our vision to become the biologics contract development and manufacturing organization of the 21st century.”  

With biopharma’s ever-evolving pipeline of novel protein therapeutics, such as bi-specific antibodies, multimeric proteins and Fc-fusion proteins, Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells are being pushed to their productivity limits in drug development and manufacturing. Biopharmaceutical companies working on these promising new therapies are increasingly struggling with development challenges such as weak protein expression, low-yield purification steps, and poorly optimized analytical techniques. Without addressing these challenges, many of these new medicines capable of treating serious, intractable diseases would never advance out of the pre-clinical phase.  

Cost-effective production of proteins

Selexis has made its mark with its SUREtechnology Platform™ that facilitates the rapid, stable, and cost-effective generation of cell lines producing virtually any recombinant protein. KBI has a proven track record of delivering therapeutic candidates into the clinic by leveraging its strengths in process development and analytics. Moreover, KBI and Selexis already have a long history of successful collaboration on behalf of their partners, as KBI has performed development and/or manufacturing services using more than 15 different Selexis generated cell lines since 2012.  

“Combining KBI’s robust analytical, process development, and reliable high-quality manufacturing capabilities with our Selexis SUREtechnology Platform, puts us in a position to offer current and future partners the ability to take their R&D programs from transfection to investigational new drug application in less than nine months,” said Igor Fisch, PhD, Selexis Chief Executive Officer. “The combination of Selexis and KBI will translate into more high-quality biologics entering the clinic faster,” said KBI President Tim Kelly, PhD.  

About JSR Life Sciences Division

JSR Life Sciences Division is a business unit of JSR Corporation, from Tokyo, Japan, which provides specialized materials and products to the biotech industry. JSR Life Sciences operates a network of manufacturing facilities, sales offices and R&D labs in key markets throughout North America, Europe and Asia-­Pacific. JSR Life Sciences is focused on diagnostics and research products and bioprocessing materials and services for the manufacture of biologics.  

About Selexis SA

Selexis SA, based in Plan-les-Ouates (Geneva, Switzerland), is a pioneering life sciences company and a global leader in mammalian cell line generation. Selexis’ SUREtechnology Platform™ facilitates the rapid, stable, and cost-effective production of virtually any recombinant protein and provides seamless integration of the bioproduction continuum, spanning discovery to commercialization. With more than 30 employees, it has more than 100 partners worldwide, more than 76 biologic drug development programs and three commercial products utilizing its cell lines.  

About KBI Biopharma

KBI Biopharma, based in Durham (USA) is a biopharmaceutical contract development and manufacturing organization that accelerates the development of innovative discoveries into life-changing biological products. From early ­stage to academic/non ­profit organizations, to many of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, KBI has served 250+ clients globally to accelerate and optimize their drug development programs. Founded in 1996, it was bought in 2015 by JSR.    


Text and photo: Selexis

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