ITOCHU Announces a Capital and Business Tie-up with chromocenter Inc.

July 13, 2020

ITOCHU Corporation (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Yoshihisa Suzuki, President & COO; hereinafter “ITOCHU”) announced today that it has formed a capital and business tie-up with chromocenter Inc. (headquartered in Yonago-shi, Tottori; Takashi Matsuoka, President and Representative Director; hereinafter “chromocenter”), a Tottori University venture that supports the research and development of pharmaceutical products.

One strength of chromocenter lies in its expertise in technologies related to chromosome engineering. In addition to providing the chromosome analysis service that is its mainstay business, the company receives orders from pharmaceutical companies for the creation of cells for the making of biologics and for the development of gene therapies based on artificial chromosome vector technologies.

In recent years, biologics, including those used for cancer therapies, are among the top-selling pharmaceutical products. However, complicated manufacturing methods and high cost have been issues in biologics. It is expected that chromocenter will contribute to the further spread of biologics by reducing manufacturing costs through the provision of CHO cells,* its originally established cell line, in addition to improving manufacturing quality control with its mainstay business, the chromosome analysis service.

Under the capital and business tie-up, ITOCHU will help chromocenter reinforce its structure for domestic and overseas sales of the chromosome analysis service, its mainstay business. ITOCHU will also work together with ITOCHU CHEMICAL FRONTIER Corporation (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Tustomu Miyazaki, President & CEO) to promote multilateral expansion of the business in the pharmaceutical industry, including not only low-molecular drugs but also the fields of regenerative medicine and cell therapy.

  • *Features of the original CHO cell lines
    chromacenter's proprietary technologies have enabled establishment of a new CHO cell lines. These cells from chromocenter enable high-yield, low-cost production of a protein which used to be difficult to produce with colibacilli or yeast. They enable the production of protein materials not only as pharmaceutical materials but also for a wide range of fields such as functional foods, cosmetics, and chemical products.

Overview of ITOCHU

Corporate name ITOCHU Corporation
Head office 5-1, Kita-Aoyama 2-chome, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan
Established December 1949
Capital 253,448 million yen (As of April 1, 2020)
Number of employees 4,319 (As of April 1, 2020)
Representative Yoshihisa Suzuki, President & COO

Overview of chromocenter

Corporate name chromocenter Inc.
Head office 180, Kamocho 2-chome, Yonago-shi, Tottori, Japan
Established June 2005
Capital 347 million yen (As of June 30, 2020)
Number of employees 30 (As of June 30, 2020)
Representative Takashi Matsuoka, President and Representative Director