Japan’s Fuji Photo Film has revealed an ambition to expand into the pharmaceutical sector after acquiring a 22% stake in Tokyo-based Perseus Proteomics for around 1 billion yen ($8 million).

The move is part of a strategy designed to help Fuji diversify its business, which has been affected by a slump in its photography operations caused by the seismic shift from film to digital cameras. The company already has a toehold in the medical sector via its range of X-ray instruments and associated film products.

Perseus is developing antibody-based therapeutics in areas such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer, as well as a diagnostic biomarker system. The two companies plan to work together on diagnostics and medical imaging systems, and will also screen a library of 200,000 chemicals collected by Fuji, in a drug discovery programme.