Fujifilm to Buy U.S. Vaccine Maker as Ebola Spreads

Japan's Fujifilm Holdings Corp said on Monday it would buy 49 percent of Texas-based Kalon Biotherapeutics LLC, which has expertise in manufacturing vaccines used against pandemic influenza, Ebola and other public-health threats.

Fujifilm's U.S. unit, Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies, may increase the stake to 100 percent after the initial purchase based on the achievement of certain milestones, it said in a statement. The purchase amount was not disclosed.

Fujifilm, once among the world's biggest makers of photography film, has been expanding its bio pharmaceutical business, and in 2008 bought Toyama Chemical Co., whose influenza drug Avigan has been drafted to the fight against Ebola.

Earlier this month, the company said France and Guinea plan to conduct clinical trials of Avigan 200 mg tablets in Guinea to treat Ebola in mid-November.

(Reporting by Ayai Tomisawa; Editing by Chang-Ran Kim)