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Fujifilm invests $130m in CDMO business, ups mammlian bioreactor capacity 70%

Dan Stanton

By Dan Stanton+

18-Apr-2017
Last updated on 18-Apr-2017 at 14:33 GMT2017-04-18T14:33:18Z

Image: iStock/paylessimages
Image: iStock/paylessimages

Fujifilm has invested around $130m into facilities in the US and UK weeks after launching its biopharma CDMO business.

In February , Japan’s Fujifilm Corporation announced it was launching its ‘Bio CDMO’, a standalone contract development and manufacturing division dedicated to large molecules and vaccines.

And seven weeks on, the firm says it is looking to increase its production capacity and build an additional process development facility within the business through two investments totalling ‎¥14bn ($130m).

‎The majority, ¥10bn, has been used to construct a cGMP production facility at Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies Texas (FDBT) which is now complete, though a further ¥3bn will be invested to outfit the plant with mammalian cell culture bioreactors.

The company is also expanding its Billingham, UK business (FDBK) through a ¥1bn process development facility set to be operational in the summer.

“We will invest capital investment in FDBT in US and FDBK in UK in order to incorporate the growing CDMO needs of antibody drug [production], and to further expand our business,” Fujifilm spokeswoman Kana Matsumoto told Biopharma-Reporter.

The expansions also support ambitions to increase the CDMO’s revenues to ¥100bn by 2023 – up from current sales of around ¥30bn – and will provide a substantial increase in mammalian bioreactor capacity.

According to Matsumoto, once operational “the total amount of cell culture tank will be 14,000L from 8,000L; an increase of approximately 70%.”

On the microbial front, current total fermentation tank capacity is 17,000L, not including 20,000L available through a collaboration at a plant owned by Merck & Co.

“Fujifilm positions the bio CDMO business as an emphasis and growth area,” Matsumoto continued, adding: “To date we have been expanding our business through increased production capacity, and the acquisition of FDBT in Texas and making it a 100% subsidiary of Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies USA in North Carolina."

The firm acquired the Texan site in 2014 by buying a 49% stake in Kalon Therapeutics. In March this year, the Japanese company acquired the rest of Kalon’s business.

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