Tokyo, Japan, and Villach, Austria, December 7, 2012-Showa Denko K.K. (SDK) has signed a strategic partnership agreement with BIA Separations (BIASep), of Austria. The partnership includes SDK’s investment in BIASep as well as joint marketing and R&D. With the partnership, SDK will be ready to expand its business to a market of purification resins used for manufacturing biopharmaceuticals and for industrial applications.
SDK is conducting a separation/ refining business, developing, manufacturing, and selling various products pertaining to high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC*). SDK has been providing a wide variety of analytical HPLC columns** with the brand of “ShodexTM“. for more than 40 years. The ShodexTM columns are delivered to wide-ranging customers in the world, including public institutions and R&D/quality control sectors of private enterprises, through the Showa Denko group’s global sales network.
This time, SHK decided to enter the purification resin market through the strategic partnership with BIASep, expecting to achieve good synergistic effect in terms of both technology and product mix. The market is expecting to grow rapidly with the expansion of the biopharmaceutical industry. SDK will fully utilize the technologies it has amassed through the ShodexTM business to enhance the synergies.
Purification resins are used for refining desired components/ chemicals from culture/ reaction solutions for biopharmaceuticals and industrial manufacturing processes. SDK’s protein analysis technology and know-how acquired through the ShodexTM business will be fully utilized, as protein purification plays a key role in the purifying process for biopharmaceuticals.
Efficiency in purification is generally low, resulting in high production costs of biopharmaceuticals. However, BIASep has developed CIM® Monoliths*** (Convective Interaction Media®), which ensure more efficient purification, compared with competitors’ purification resins. SDK has judged that it is best to enter into a tie-up with BIASep to realize a participation in the purification resin market.
Through the partnership arrangement with BIASep, SDK will acquire know-how concerning development, production, quality control, and marketing of purification resins. Furthermore, SDK will aim to strenghten business relations with producers od biopharmaceuticals, thereby expanding its separation/ refining business.
*HPLC: A form of chromatography for analyzing compounds. Pressurized liquid is pumped into and passed through a column packed with gels. This process enables efficient separation as well as quick and high-sensitivity detection and determination of various compounds. This technology is applicable to any water- or oil-soluble compounds, and is used in wide areas such as organic chemistry, polymer chemistry, medicine, food, and environmental analysis.
**HPLC columns: Stainless-steel or plastic columns packed with beads gels (spherical particles). A sample to be analyzed (liquid) is injected into the column from one end. Various chemical components contained in the sample are separated, depending on the characteristics of the particles and chemicals, extracted from the column, and analyzed. SDK offers more than 800 different types of HPLC columns.
*** CIM® Monoliths: Block-type formed media for purification and analytics. As various functional groups are attached to the surface, CIM® Monoliths enable more efficient separation and analytics (PAT) of viral particles and large biomolecules (proteins, DNA, etc.) compared to beads gels.