Ajinomoto enters US medical foods market with Cambrooke Therapeutics acquisition


09 Nov 2017 --- Ajinomoto Co. Inc has acquired an equity position in US medical foods company Cambrooke Therapeutics, Inc through Ajinomoto North America, Inc. (Ajina) for approximately US$64 million and made it a wholly owned subsidiary. Founded in 2000, Cambrooke develops and manufactures medical foods for patients with amino acid metabolism disorders and other customers.

It also makes products such as medical foods for patients with intractable epilepsy and low-protein foods for patients with kidney and liver diseases, as well as rolling out its product lineup outside the US in Europe and elsewhere. 

The medical nutrition innovator says it uses original ingredients to develop products that are superior to competing products in taste, digestibility and has achieved a high rate of growth exceeding 20 percent annually for the past three years.

The market for medical foods in the US is the largest in the world at US$1,750 million in 2016, with a solid compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of approximately 10 percent.

The category of foods for patients with metabolic disorders accounts for about 40 percent of this market at US$660 million and is growing at an annual rate of 10 percent, estimates Ajinomoto. 

Patients with metabolic disorders are unable to ingest regular foods and must eat only specified medical foods on a daily basis, but the palatability and lack of variety of these foods has been a major issue.

For years, Ajinomoto Co. has sold amino acids into the medical foods market as ingredients. With this acquisition, the company will make a full-scale entry into that market. 

It says that by applying its scientific knowledge of amino acids’ nutritional and physiological functions, “deliciousness technologies” and food application technologies to Cambrooke’s operations, it will offer enhanced foods to patients with metabolic disorders. 

Increase market share
In addition, by adding to the disease areas covered and using its sales channels outside Japan to strengthen Cambrooke’s overseas rollout, Ajinomoto Co. aims to expand its share of the global market for medical foods for patients with amino acid metabolism disorders to 20 percent, with sales of approximately US$90 million by 2027.

Moreover, by incorporating Cambrooke’s knowledge of the medical foods business into Ajinomoto Co.’s food-related businesses in Japan and overseas, including processed foods, healthcare foods and supplements, Ajinomoto Co. intends to expand its lineup of high-value-added health and nutrition-related products.

Ajinomoto Co. has been conducting Food Products and AminoScience businesses centered on proprietary leading-edge bioscience and fine chemical technologies that it has cultivated over many years through research based on amino acids. 

This closely follows Ajinomoto’s completion of procedures for the acquisition of all shares of Labeyrie Traiteur Surgelés S.A.S. (LTS) through its consolidate subsidiary Ajinomoto Foods Europe S.A.S. in accordance with details announced on July 20, 2017.

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