Sanofi: €350m vaccine investment part of ‘digital factory’ ambition

By Dan Stanton

- Last updated on GMT

A new vaccine manufacturing facility in Toronto, Canada will boast single-use tech and closed continuous process to help improve productivity and performance, Sanofi says.

The French biopharmaceutical firm announced yesterday it is investing €350m ($432m) at its Canadian headquarters in Toronto, to build a facility equipped to produce five-component acellular pertussis (5-acP) antigen – the antigen used in its diphtheria and tetanus vaccines.

Sanofi spokesperson Laurence Bollack told Biopharma-Reporter the facility, set to commence operations in 2021, will introduce advances in areas including technology, automation, simplification, analytic methods and work environment. 

“This is all part of our ambition to create digital factories that improve productivity and performance, thus increasing our ability to deliver vaccines to people across the globe.”

The technology innovations will include chromatography process units with ceramic resins Bollack explained allows more robust antigen fractionation, while a new closed-system continuous centrifugation process will “enhance production throughput single-use technologies and closed processes to improve process robustness, antigen storage and sampling.”

The project is expected to create around 2,500 external jobs through supply chain vendors and contractors. We will have a positive impact on workforce, internally by increasing skills and competencies and externally by creating jobs and opportunities.”

Vaccine boost

The investment is the latest in the vaccine space from Sanofi.

The firm invested €170m in a facility in France to expand supply of its quadrivalent influenza vaccine, VaxigripTetra, last October​ and has also invested in various tech platforms.

In February​, it licensed SK Chemicals' mammalian cell culture platform for vaccine production, and last year​ bought egg-free vaccine maker Protein Sciences for $650m.

These investments are complementary: the acquisition of Protein Sciences fits with Sanofi Pasteur’s strategic initiative to explore non-egg-based influenza vaccine manufacturing technologies and the new facility in Toronto will help address the growing global demand for pediatric vaccines,”​ Bollack told us.

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