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Bio CDMO space: Fujifilm looking to challenge Lonza and B-I

Dan Stanton

By Dan Stanton+

28-Feb-2017
Last updated on 01-Mar-2017 at 09:41 GMT2017-03-01T09:41:43Z

Image: iStock/Mazirama
Image: iStock/Mazirama

Fujifilm has separated its biopharmaceutical contracting business in an effort to triple its revenues to ¥100bn ($890m) within seven years.

Japan’s Fujifilm Corporation announced today it is launching ‘Bio CDMO’, a standalone contract development and manufacturing division dedicated to vaccines and large molecule drugs, such as antibodies.

“[Our] biopharma CDMO is one of the focus businesses with strong growth in our Pharmaceuticals Products Division,” Fujifilm spokeswoman Kana Matsumoto told Biopharma-Reporter.

“Setting up the standalone business further accelerates the decision-making process and enables more timely injection of management resources, with the aim of accelerating business growth.”

The level of biomanufacturing outsourcing is low compared to small molecule manufacturing , but the space is extremely consolidated with Lonza and Boehringer-Ingelheim dominating (the two CMOs accounting for over 50% of the market, according to one report ).

According to Matsumoto, “Fujifilm is third after Lonza and Boehringer-Ingelheim,” in terms of revenues from contract biomanufacturing.

She added Fujifilm’s biomanufacturing services currently bring in around ¥30bn ($270m) annually, but the firm is predicting at a growth rate of over 10% per year, aiming to reach ¥100bn by fiscal year 2024.

“The growth will be achieved with capital investment including external collaboration, technology development and by utilising our technology and know-how nurtured in photo manufacturing [within the biologics space].”

The latter includes technologies developed in the photographic film business which offer constant conditions and quality control for biomanufacturing.

Meanwhile, the firm offers biopharma clients expression platforms including the Apollo and pAVEway, and vaccine manufacturing technologies from its facility in Texas, run by subsidiary Fujifilm Diosynth.

The firm has also grown its network over the past few years through investments, partnerships and M&A. In 2014 , Fujifilm acquired Kalon Biotherapeutics and added facilities in Texas, while last year the CDMO agreed to share a 20,000L facility in a MSD site in Ireland.

"Our cell culture manufacturing capacity is large based on single-use bioreactors, we have multiple bioreactors across our facilities ranging in size from 200L- 2000L," Matsumoto said. 

"We can also support processes that are manufactured in stainless steel bioreactors as we have that capability at out North Carolina site. The stainless steel train includes a 650L and 2,000L bioreactor."

Fujifilm also has manufacturing capabilities in Billingham, UK.

CORRECTION - The original piece stated Fujifilm invested $60m at the Ireland MSD site when in fact MSD invested the money and agreed to share the 20,000L facility with the CDMO.

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