The continuing decline in the film market has prompted Fuji to buy a 22% share in a drugs company, claim Japanese press reports.

In a statement Fuji Photo Film Co Ltd confirmed that it has acquired a stake in Tokyo-based drugs company Perseus Proteomics and will use its expertise in chemical compounds to develop new drugs to tackle diseases such as cancer.

Fuji plans to help develop new drugs by exploiting its knowledge of 200,000 types of chemical compounds that have been used to make photographic products over the years.

However, the move is designed to enable Fuji to ?branch out into new areas of activity to make up for the slumping photo film business?, claims a report published by Kyodo News.

Another article – which appeared in the business newspaper Nihon Keizai Shimbun – claimed the move is part of efforts to ?cope with a continual decline in the photographic film business?.

Fuji Photo Film (UK) Ltd was not able to comment at the time of writing.

Fuji paid nearly 1billion yen for the stake in Perseus Proteomics, which is described as a ?start-up? company involved in developing new drugs.