FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies to establish a major biopharmaceutical manufacturing site in the UK
FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies plans to invest £400 million (US$528 million) to expand its plant in Billingham, Teeside in the UK.
FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies announced on December 2, 2021 its intention to invest £400 million (US$528 million) in the expansion of its UK plant in Billingham, Teesside. The investment more than doubles the site’s existing development and manufacturing footprint and will create a large multimodal biopharmaceutical manufacturing site in the UK. The new facilities are expected to be operational by the end of 2023 and up to 350 highly skilled jobs are expected to be created.
The new campus will include two new state-of-the-art facilities: a viral gene therapy Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) facility and a GMP mammalian cell culture facility. The expansion is part of a 90 billion yen ($791 million) global investment package that FUJIFILM Corporation originally outlined in June 2021.
The new cell culture facility at the Billingham campus will triple the site’s existing cell culture capacity with the addition of 4 × 2000-L and 2 × 500-L single-use bioreactors. Monoclonal antibodies and new antibody treatments will be manufactured on site. FUJIFILM will also add its MaruX GMP continuous manufacturing platform to the new plant, which will offer differentiated connected and integrated production.
The company’s viral vector and gene therapy services in Billingham will be expanded to offer dedicated process development capabilities as well as the new commercial-scale viral gene therapy GMP facility. The company’s gene therapy production capacity will increase tenfold with this expansion. Billingham’s viral vector facility will complement FUJIFILM’s existing facilities in College Station, Texas and Watertown, Mass. Vaccine manufacturing and messenger RNA production will also be expanded at the Billingham site.
The expansion of viral vector and gene therapy manufacturing to Bilingham follows a previous announcement in which FUJIFILM said it plans to expand its viral vector and gene therapy offerings to Darlington, UK, to include process development labs and manufacturing capabilities to support the production of investigational gene therapies. in early stage clinical trials. Process development labs have already started operations, with GMP manufacturing services expected to start in spring 2022.
In addition to this current expansion, the company plans to expand its existing GMP microbial production facility by 5,000 liters at the Billingham campus, which will increase microbial fermentation capacity by nearly two-thirds. The microbial production expansion, which is expected to be operational by late 2023/early 2024, will include over 20,000 square feet of modular cleanroom space downstream, including two primary recovery and refold suites, two purification suites and a column conditioning room. The cleanroom space will be designed to implement the company’s SymphonX technology. Quality control (QC) laboratories, offices and materials storage will also be included in this expansion of microbial production.
“We all know there’s never been a greater time to invest in biopharmaceuticals – and £400m the biggest investment in UK biopharmaceutical manufacturing for decades signals FUJIFILM’s intention Diosynth Biotechnologies to be able to offer multimodal options to meet the needs of our customers with flexibility and agility to help meet public health demands and deliver the medicines and vaccines of tomorrow,” said Martin Meeson, CEO of FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies, in a company press release. “With a strong and growing demand for microbial therapy, cell culture and viral gene therapy services, we are adding the capacity and latest technologies within one campus to offer a range of modalities to create an offering that will provide new promising treatments to patients for years to come.”