Kyowa Hakko Develops World's First Commercial Production Method for L-Tyrosine Based on Fermentation

TOKYO, Sep 26, 2006 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Kyowa Hakko Kogyo Co., Ltd. (Kyowa Hakko) (TOKYO:4151) (Dr. Yuzuru Matsuda, President and CEO) announced that it has developed the world's first fermentation-based method for the commercial production of L-Tyrosine. The company plans to start full-scale production in 2007.

L-Tyrosine is an amino acid, which are the building blocks of proteins. L-Tyrosine is used as a nutritional ingredient, such as in amino acid infusions and enteral nutritional products (medical foods). Due to reports that it alleviates the symptoms of stress, it is also used as an ingredient of dietary supplements and health foods. The use of L-Tyrosine is expected to increase for pharmaceutical intermediates and other health related products.

Previously, the main production methods for L-Tyrosine used animal protein, such as hair or feathers. Recently, however, to avoid the risks of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) and viruses from animal sources, such as avian influenza, a growing number of customers prefer products made from non-animal sources.

Although there are existing production methods that use plant sources, such as soybeans, it is difficult to produce large amounts for economical price.

To resolve that issue, Kyowa Hakko developed a production method based on fermentation that is suitable for mass production of L-Tyrosine. The company discovered microorganisms with superior characteristics for the production of L-Tyrosine and drew on its advanced fermentation and purification technologies. With the new method, Kyowa Hakko's fermentation technologies will ensure security and safety, and the company will be able to provide a high quality and stable supply of L-Tyrosine to customers worldwide.

Yukinobu Kotani, President of Kyowa Hakko's Bio-Chemicals Business Unit, pointed out that, "Now L-Tyrosine joins many other Kyowa Hakko's products that are non-animal sourced, for example L-Hydroxyproline. This lineup is a clear indication of our competitive edge in fermentation technologies. We will continue working to supply fermented materials from non-animal sources to markets around the world, including materials that are now in test production."

Kyowa Hakko was the first company in the world to succeed in commercial production of amino acids through fermentation. By using fermentation technology in the advancement of the life sciences, the company will continue striving to produce and supply useful fermentation-based compounds to contribute to the health and well-being of people around the world.

About Kyowa Hakko
Kyowa Hakko, a Tokyo based company with special strengths in biotechnology, is dedicated to the creation of new value in the life science, especially pharmaceuticals and bio-products as it strives to contribute to the health and well-being of people around the world. Kyowa Hakko has achieved worldwide success with amino acids and the innovative therapeutic agents -- Mitomycin for cancer, Benidipine for hypertension, and Olopatadine for allergies. Today's company strengths are in its state-of-the-art biotechnology to be utilized in drug discovery, including the field of antibody technology (, and creating high value added bio-products.

For further information, please visit Kyowa Hakko Europe GmbH's website at

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