Japan's Ajinomoto to acquire US gene therapy start-up

Japanese food maker Ajinomoto has said it will enter the gene therapy business by acquiring a US startup, aiming to strengthen its healthcare business as a high-growth area.

Ajinomoto announced the deal with Forge Biologics Holdings on Monday. It said that it will purchase all shares of the gene therapy firm for about 550 million dollars. The acquisition is scheduled to be completed as early as in December.

Forge Biologics develops and manufactures drugs to treat hereditary diseases. According to Ajinomoto, the US firm has one of the world's top production capacities in the gene therapy field.

Ajinomoto President and CEO Fujie Taro told an online news conference on Monday that he hopes the acquisition will enable the company to create economic value while resolving social issues.