Following the purchase of the Ogeda molecule by Astellas Pharma, relationships between Wallonia and Japan in the field of biotechnologies are stronger than ever.
Ogeda’s relatively unknown younger sister company it4ip, based in Louvain-la-Neuve, is also increasing its Japanese partnerships, especially with AR Brown (Japan/USA).
Founded in 2006, It4ip works on the development of micro-perforated membranes (billions of perforations per cm2) which are used increasingly in the bio-nanotechnologies sector and for cutting-edge medical analyses, in particular for cell cultures. Since 2014, its new 300 m2 working space allows it to supply 100,000 m2 of micro-perforated polymer film per year.
Its relationships with AR Brown have moved up a gear. For the past 10 years, AR Brown has held shares in It4ip and the Japanese company does not intend to stop there. The Japanese recognised a promising business and invested as soon as It4ip was created. Now, more than 50% of the company’s orders come from Asia and the turnover continues to rise.
With many specialist departments in various cutting-edge technologies (environment, life science, etc.), and in view of the success encountered with It4ip, AR Brown may build other partnerships with Walloon companies offering the same technological profile.
Awex is playing its role perfectly in this case. During the last royal trade mission in Tokyo, a few Wallonia-Japan contracts were submitted and Awex is ensuring contacts between them. And after the success of Ogeda the Japanese appear more interested than ever in sharing knowledge with Wallonia, the new Eldorado for biotechnologies.