Ajinomoto Co., Inc’s involvement with medicine aims to bring revolutionary approach to cancer treatment.
Ajinomoto Bio-Pharma Services (Aji Bio-Pharma), is the biopharmaceutical arm of Ajinomoto Co. Aji Bio-Pharma creates and produces medicines across the entire spectrum of use, from pre-clinical development of the molecules themselves in the pre-clinical phase, to small-scale production in clinical trials, to full production for all people in need once the medicine has been tested and approved.
Aji Bio-Pharma has a range of capabilities and facilities around the world. These facilities in Belgium, Japan, and India focus on conventional “small molecule” production, bringing some of the most needed conventional medicines to millions of people in need throughout the world. The specific focus in California, USA facilities is on “large molecule” biologic medicines, and its Osaka, Japan facilities focus on gene expression technologies.
AJICAP™: On the Cutting Edge of Cancer Treatment
One of the most exciting cutting-edge technologies being offered by Ajinomoto Co. and Aji Bio-Pharma is called AJICAP™. AJICAP™ delves deeper to “biological medicines,” as an emerging treatment for cancer.
Cancer occurs when the body produces abnormal cells that divide uncontrollably. The fact that cancer cells are created by the human body, and do not originate from the outside, makes it complicated to eradicate completely with the use of conventional medicine. This is one reason that traditional chemotherapy has so many strong side effects—these medicines mostly attack all of the cells in a patient’s body, including the non-cancerous cells.
To improve the way that cancer is treated, researchers began to focus on the way that human body protects itself from disease. The hero of our bodies’ self-defense system is the antibody, which is a Y-shaped protein that can identify and neutralize pathogens like bacteria and viruses. There are different kinds of antibodies, and they’re continually working to defend the human body from disease. And some of these antibodies target, and try to stop, cancer cells. Unfortunately, they often simply aren’t strong enough Biological medicine involves attaching molecules of medicine to the antibodies that target cancer cells. This helps the medicine ﬁnd and act on the right cells, with a lower impact on healthy non-cancerous cells. And better targeting allows better potency and fewer side-effects compared to traditional chemotherapy, which is why biologic drugs (biologics) have improved outcomes so substantially for a range of cancer types.
An antibody armed with a drug molecule is called an ADC, which stands for antibody-drug conjugate, and AJICAP™ technology is a major advance in how ADCs are made. When conventional ADCs are made, the drug molecules are attached unevenly throughout the antibodies, and it’s not possible to control exactly where they “stick.” On the other hand, AJICAP™ allows the drug manufacturer to precisely control the amount of drug carried by each antibody, and also to control exactly where the drug is attached within the antibody. This makes ADCs more medicinal and safer.
This dramatic improvement in precision is expected to allow drug makers to create newer and more effective biologics for cancer treatment. Aji Bio-Pharma is the only company in the world that uses this technology for customers working to develop ADC medicines, and they are able to do so on a large enough scale for mass production of drugs that will save countless human lives in the future
Commitment on a Scale that Makes a Difference
Aji Bio-Pharma currently produces between 750 million and 1 billion doses of medicines across 43 indications. Their work has directly reached people in need in more than 150 countries, helping them to stay healthier longer. Together with our ongoing research and expertise, which now ranges all the way from amino acids to the use of biologics to beat cancer, Ajinomoto Co. will continue to play a vital role in health and therapeutics for decades to come.