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Business deals

Ricoh jumps into mRNA pharmaceuticals with U.S. startup deal

Japanese printer maker targets capacity equivalent to 100m COVID shots by 2025

An mRNA vaccine candidate for COVID-19 at a lab in Thailand. In vaccines, mRNA pharmaceuticals teach cells to produce certain proteins in order to trigger a protective immune response.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Ricoh will acquire U.S.-based biotechnology startup Elixirgen Scientific as early as July in a push to turn messenger RNA technology into a core business, Nikkei has learned.

Known largely for office equipment like printers, Ricoh acquired a 34.5% stake in Elixirgen back in 2019. The Japanese company now looks to a become majority owner of the startup in a new deal estimated to be worth billions of yen, or tens of millions of dollars, entering the business of contract production for mRNA pharmaceuticals.

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