Thermo Fisher collaborates to establish single-use and automation site in China

By Dan Stanton contact

- Last updated on GMT

Image: iStock/Tuangtong
Image: iStock/Tuangtong

Related tags: Thermo fisher

Mab-Venture Biopharma has entered a collaboration to establish an antibody development and production plant in China incorporating Thermo Fisher’s single-use bioreactors and SmartFactory automated technology.

The deal, signed at the 2017 China & US Investment Cooperation and Communication Meeting held in Guangzhou last week, sees Mab-Venture and Thermo Fisher collaborate on an engineering technology showcase and service centre at the Guangzhou International Bio Island, offering local and international biotech firms antibody development and manufacturing services.

“China’s biomanufacturing service requirements are rapidly expanding and evolving. Capacity is also expanding rapidly, however there are still only a few organizations that understand the requirements to support manufacturing for both domestic and global programmes,”​ Mab-Venture spokesman Matthew Minakowski told Biopharma-Reporter.

“Many smaller virtual companies are also approaching development and require external support and many of the large domestic pharma have large pipelines that now require external technical support and capacity.”

He added an increased presence of foreign companies entering the China market from both other Asian countries (such as Korea and Singapore) and the US, driven in part by updated quality and CMO regulations, means there is high demand for third-parties within China with technical aspects and experience with Western regulatory authorities to high quality biologics for both China and global supply.

SmartFactory

The Shanghai-based firm has a long history working with Thermo Fisher and uses its 250L single-use systems in its current facilities, Minakowski told us, and the new site will use Thermo Fisher single-use bioreactor systems up to 2,000L in capacity.

It will also be the first facility in Asia Pacific to incorporate Thermo Fisher’s SmartFactory, an automated control platform for single-use systems aimed at integrating manufacturing (batch) information and optimising resource utilisation.

SmartFactory will “accelerate construction/set up and validation of the facility as well as continuous use once it is up and running,”​ Minakowski said. “The technology will allow us and Thermo to provide a cost-effective and high-quality service to partners without sacrificing any technical aspects in R&D.”

Financial details were not divulged but we were told as the agreement is a partnership there is some sharing in costs of building facility between the parties.

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