Kaneka signs an agreement with Japan Tobacco Inc. to acquire assets related to plant biotechnology

Kaneka Corporation
August 24, 2020

Kaneka Corporation (Headquarters: Minato-ku, Tokyo; President: Minoru Tanaka) has signed an agreement with Japan Tobacco Inc. (Headquarters: Minato-ku, Tokyo, President: Masamichi Terabatake, referred to below as JT) to acquire JT’s assets related to plant biotechnology*1. The synergy produced by combining our unique genome editing technology and JT’s research and development assets will accelerate Kaneka’s initiative to provide solutions to food issues.

The objective of this asset acquisition is to significantly accelerate research and development of crop genome editing and to innovate conventional crop breeding, by taking advantage of Kaneka’s core technology “In planta Genome Editing Technology*2“, which is highly efficient and applicable to a wide range of commercial crop varieties, and JT’s state-of-the-art research facilities, global network with Ag-bio industry and cutting-edge gene delivery technology. Hereafter, we will accelerate research and development in a new organization, strengthen license business of gene engineering technology to seed companies, and conduct research and development of crop varieties with beneficial agronomic traits like functionality and high yields under contract with seed companies. Our future targets include seed business of genome-edited crop varieties, which is expected to grow rapidly.

Based on the concept that “Kaneka thinks Wellness First”, we provide solutions for safe, secure, and stable food supply. We will contribute to solutions to world food problems through open innovation.

  1. Breeding technology to introduce beneficial traits such as disease resistance into plants (tissue culture technology, gene delivery technology, etc.)
  2. Technology for rapid crop breeding that enables gene modification without integrating the gene cassettes of genome editing technology into the plant chromosomes

< General description of Japan Tobacco Inc.>
Headquarters: Minato-ku, Tokyo
Description of business: The manufacturing and selling of tobacco, ethical pharmaceuticals, frozen and normal temperature processed foods, etc.
Representative: Masamichi Terabatake
Foundation: 1985
Capital: 100 billion yen