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Yamaha Motor drives into drug development with investment in bioventure

Yamaha Motor Co. Ltd. said Aug. 31 that it invested in Japanese bioventure Evec Inc. to support the Japanese motorcycle maker's aim of contributing to the development of new drugs and to the field of medical research.

The company did not disclose the size of its investment but said it would account for Evec using the equity method of Yamaha Motor.

Evec, which employs five researchers and two head office staff in Hokkaido, develops and sells fully human antibodies derived from human peripheral blood. The firm has contracts with major pharmaceutical companies in Japan and overseas, according to the release.

Yamaha Motor expects its investment in Evec to help strengthen its own cell-picking technical capabilities, improve the acquisition rate of good-quality antibodies, and improve the throughput of cell-handling processes.

In April 2018, Yamaha Motor unveiled the Cell Handler for automated cell selection, picking, and imaging to replace the conventional manual pick and transfer method.