The statement comes as Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies announced its new mammalian cGMP Cell Banking Facility (CBF) at its Billingham, UK site. Though the site has been offering its clients microbial services for over a decade, it is moving into mammalian production in order to “have a larger slice” of the market, according to Communications Manager, Bridget Hall.
Hall told Outsourcing-Pharma.com that “the mammalian side of things seems to be growing,” estimating the biologics manufacturing market to be currently two thirds mammalian to one third microbial.
The investment at the site is the second stage of expansion, following last year’s addition of new process development and scale-up capabilities, and the CBF signals the first stage of the full mammalian production process.
Hall said: “We are already working on one customer product in order to take it through to larger scale manufacturing in our new facility which is due to be completed by the fourth quarter of this, around October.”
The biologics market is a key area for Fujifilm to expand in, and this latest news follows the deal with Piramal Healthcare last October in which the two companies will share resources and expertise in the manufacture of antibody drug conjugates (ADC).
This new CBF is “not a direct correlation with the Piramal deal” but, explained Hall, if an ADC product is being developed then Fujifilm can project manage the master cell batch before extending its services in line with the collaboration.
With increasing investment in contract biologics manufacturing – Cytovance, Catalent and Baxter have all made the news in a similar area within the last ten days alone – Outsourcing-Pharma.com asked Hall how the market stood currently.
Although she could not comment on the other CMOs, she said whilst a few years ago biopharma companies were investing in longer term production, Fujifilm is now “getting more short term contracts”. Hall said the current economic situation and companies were committing financially to much shorter projects as they build up a gradual confidence in the risky biotech industry.