Novartis invests €100m to boost mAb production 70% at French biologics site

By Dan Stanton contact

- Last updated on GMT

The expansion at Novartis' Center of Biotechnology in Huningue, France was first announced in a meeting with French officials in April. Image: Google Streetview
The expansion at Novartis' Center of Biotechnology in Huningue, France was first announced in a meeting with French officials in April. Image: Google Streetview

Related tags: Biotechnology

Novartis has recruited Jacobs to undertake a €100m expansion at a French biomanufacturing facility which will add a second purification line and several cell culture bioreactors.

The investment – valued at €100m ($111m) over the next four years – will bolster production at the Huningue, France Center of biotechnology facility, described by the Swiss biopharma firm as “the crown jewel of Novartis's monoclonal antibody bioproduction sites for the global market.”

The decision to expand was driven by increasing demand for Novartis’ global biopharmaceuticals, the firm said when it announced plans to expand during a Conseil stratégique des industries de santé - a strategy meeting between the French Government and healthcare industries – back in April.

But yesterday the plan was cemented with Novartis awarding a contract to construction firm Jacobs Engineering Group for engineering, procurement and construction management services at the site.

Under predicted timelines, new production equipment will be installed by January 2017 and commercial activities will begin by the end of 2018.

A spokesperson from the Huningue plant was not immediately available for comment, but Philippe Barrois, general manager of Novartis Pharma in France said in April:

"The scope of this project covers extension of the main production building, creation of a second purification line and addition of cell culture bioreactors. This operation aims to increase the site's production capacity by 70% and to enable parallel production of two medicinal products simultaneously.”

The investment will also bolster jobs at the plant, with Barrois adding around 100 jobs will be added to Huningue’s 430 strong skilled workforce by 2020.

Antibody production

Situated across the French border from Novartis’s headquarters in Basel, Switzerland, Huningue manufactures several active ingredients, including asthma and psoriasis treatments, anti-rejection drug for kidney transplantation and an anti-inflammatory agent within Novartis’ portfolio.

It is also Novartis’ main production site for biotechnology-derived drugs, the firm says, claiming it to be “one of the largest plants for the production of antibodies from mammalian cell culture in the world.”

In 2012​, the site made enough antibodies for three million medication doses.

The expansion follows a number of investments by Novartis subsidiary Sandoz, which recently said​ by 2020 it will have invested a total of $1bn in its Austrian biomanufacturing capabilities over a ten-year period, supporting both a blossoming biosimilar portfolio and providing production capacity for Novartis’ innovative biologics.

Related news

Show more

Related products

show more

eBook: mRNA prospects and scale-up solutions

eBook: mRNA prospects and scale-up solutions

Thermo Fisher Scientific - Biosciences | 01-Jan-2023 | Insight Guide

This mRNA eBook was created by Thermo Fisher Scientific, in collaboration with Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (GEN), to provide you with...

Liposomal and Nanoparticle Technology

Liposomal and Nanoparticle Technology

Pfizer CentreOne | 18-Nov-2022 | Technical / White Paper

Medical science is continuously searching for better ways to administer drugs into the body and to maximize the therapeutic effectiveness of the drugs...

Connectivity & Integration in Biomanufacturing

Connectivity & Integration in Biomanufacturing

Wheeler Bio | 17-Nov-2022 | Technical / White Paper

As the Pharma 4.0 initiative sets a new industry paradigm, more biomanufacturing companies are asking how they can design and build facilities that apply...

GMP manufacturing of buffers and liquid blends

GMP manufacturing of buffers and liquid blends

Actylis – The Partner of Choice | 16-Nov-2022 | Technical / White Paper

Actylis manufactures buffers, process solutions, cleaning solutions, Water for Injection (WFI) for further processing, and custom liquid blends in compliance...

Related suppliers

Follow us


View more