The Chinese contract development and manufacturing organisation (CDMO) will invest $60m (€51m) in the Worcester, Massachusetts-based site and hire approximately 150 employees.
The so-called “factory of the future” will house approximately 4,500L bioreactor capacity, with two 2,000L traditional fed-batch and one perfusion-based for continuous processing.
“Based on what we understand on the competition, this is likely the first GMP [good manufacturing practice] facility offering continuous manufacturing option,” CEO Chris Chen told us.
The facility – which Chen said is located within two hours of a number of WuXi Biologics partners – responds to the global demand for increased manufacturing capacity.
“We have a growing portfolio of 161 molecules to be developed from global clients as of Jan 1 2018. Based on progress of the pipeline we know when we need capacity and how much we need. We then plan it in our global manufacturing network,” he explained.
According to Chen, the passing of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 – which reduced the US corporate tax rate from 35% to a flat 21% - also makes the US an attractive option for investment.
“[The] lower tax rate definitely makes the investment thesis much stronger than last year,” he told us.
The investment marks WuXi Biologics’ eleventh drug substance manufacturing facility globally and its third outside of China.
In late April this year, the firm said it planned to build a biologics manufacturing facility in Ireland. The following month, WuXi Biologics announced plans to expand manufacturing to Singapore with the construction of a $60m facility.