Fujifilm plots third cell culture facility in Netherlands

By Ben Hargreaves

- Last updated on GMT

Fujifilm's proposed new site. (Image: Fujifilm Irvine Scientific)
Fujifilm's proposed new site. (Image: Fujifilm Irvine Scientific)

Related tags Fujifilm Cellular Dynamics Fujifilm Irvine Scientific Fujifilm diosynth biotechnologies The Netherlands Cell culture media

Fujifilm announces plans to open its third manufacturing facility for cell culture media, joining existing facilities in the US and Japan.

Fujifilm Irvine Scientific’s announcement today will see a 250,00-square-foot facility be built for the current good manufacturing practice (cGMP) of animal component-free, dry powder cell culture media, liquid media, and downstream bioprocessing liquids.

A spokesperson for the company told us that the new site will cost approximately $30m (€26.5m).

The facility will be located in Tilburg, the Netherlands, and will become “one of the largest Fujifilm production centers outside of Japan,”​ the company stated.

The spokesperson explained the decision to expand into possessing a facility in Europe: “Europe is a major hub of biopharmaceutical and cell therapy research and production. Supply chain logistics, risk mitigation and cost control are key drivers for our customers. Producing the product, they need closer to their production facilities decreases risks of interrupted supply from overseas and keeps costs down.”

“It also enables rapid delivery of product at an affordable price. Rapid delivery is a critical need for cell and gene therapies to commercialize,”​ they continued.

Once completed, the site will be able to produce 320,000kg per year of dry powder and 470,000L per year of liquids, it will also be able to manufacture Water for injection (WFI).

According to Fujifilm Irvine Scientific CEO, Yutaka Yamaguchi, the company is currently able to produce more than 1,000,000kg of dry powder per year but the investment decision has been taken to exceed customer requirements.

The company stated that work on the manufacturing site had begun and is ‘expected to be commissioned’ by the second half of 2021.

Across Fujifilm’s portfolio of pharma business, there has been a number of recent investments; Fujifilm Cellular Dynamics added a new building​ to its network for manufacturing induced pluripotent stem cell technologies, and Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies spent $890m​ to acquire a large-scale biologics site from Biogen.

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