Thermo Fisher pumps $50m into biologics manufacturing biz

By Flora Southey

- Last updated on GMT

Thermo Fisher Scientific is expanding its biologics manufacturing capabilities in the US for clinical and commercial supply.

The vendor will invest $50m (€41m) into its Patheon contract development and manufacturing business, at a facility in St. Louis, Missouri.

Thermo Fisher completed​ its $7.2bn acquisition of Patheon in August last year, taking on large molecule contract manufacturing capacity, production plants and 9,000 staff.

The firm’s latest investment will see Patheon’s manufacturing building #2 expand by 64,000 sq. ft. to double capacity.

Approximately 80 technical jobs will be added to the site, which is due to open by 2019.

Spokesperson Mari Mansfield told us the facility will implement Thermo Fisher single-use technologies, such as its HyPerforma single-use bioreactors and SmartFactory mixers and control systems.

The plant “will be able to fully utilise and deliver on the latest improvements in mammalian cell culture titer,” ​she added.

Mansfield told us the investment responds to increased demand for biologic drug development.

“The Patheon biologics network is growing at a rapid pace based on the 2,000L platform demand as a preferred option in new drug development through commercialisation,” ​she told us.

“St. Louis was best positioned in the Patheon biologics network to increase the 2,000L fed-batch capacity and support the growth,” ​she added.

The investment comes just five weeks after Thermo Fisher announced​ plans to move manufacturing and R&D operations from its site in Kent, UK, to existing sites in Mexico, China and Denmark - and implement a phased redundancy of approximately 170 employees. 

But Mansfield told us the Kent site closure is not connected to its biologics strategy: "The investment in the St. Louis site is unrelated to the strategic relocation of operations in Ashford to other existing facilities."

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