Drug Giant Chugai Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (Japan) Will Invest $476 Million to Expand Singapore R&D Unit

Published: Feb 02, 2015

Drug Giant Chugai Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (Japan) Will Invest $476 Million to Expand Singapore R&D Unit
February 2, 2015
By Krystle Vermes, BioSpace.com Breaking News Staff

Japan-based biopharmaceutical company Chugai Pharmaceutical announced on Jan. 29 that it will invest $476 million to expand its research center at Biopolis over the next seven years. As the facility grows, it will become the biggest pharmaceutical research and development center in Singapore, according to The Straits Times.

Chugai, which is 60 percent owned by Roche Holding, intends to have more than 100 employees at the location by next year. Its workforce will help ramp up the development of drugs. Chugai is known for its cancer and arthritis treatments, and it reported a net profit of $580 million for the year ending on Dec. 31 at the time of the announcement.

Chugai Pharmabody Research moved into Biopolis in 2012, and it currently employees 70 people. The group primarily focuses on the development of new antibodies.

"Biopolis provides an excellent ecosystem for CPR to advance the research for generation of new antibody drugs," Hisafumi Okabe, Chugai Pharmaceutical's vice-president and general manager of its research division, told the news source.

Bidding for Chugai
In the beginning of August 2014, Roche was thought to be working on a $10 billion bid for Chugai. However, the decision was scrapped later that month after Chugai fell the most in three years in Tokyo trading, according to Bloomberg.

Chugai dropped 9.2 percent in its biggest decline since 2011. As a result, Roche decided to focus $8.3 billion on acquiring InterMune, Inc. An individual familiar with the matter stated that Chugai’s management team showed opposition to Roche.

Following the end of Roche’s alleged plans, Chugai released a statement claiming that it is not reviewing any deal to become a wholly owned subsidiary of Roche.

Roche Acquires InterMune
By the end of August 2014, Roche announced that it had acquired InterMune, Inc., for $74.00 per share. The total transaction was valued at $8.3 billion.

“We are very pleased that we reached this agreement with InterMune,” said Roche CEO Serverin Schwan, at the time of the announcement. “Our offer provides significant value to InterMune’s shareholders and this acquisition will complement Roche’s strengths in pulmonary therapy. We look forward to welcoming InterMune employees into the Roche Group and to making a difference for patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a devastating disease.”

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