Cytiva invests for global capacity expansion

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/ipopba
© GettyImages/ipopba

Related tags Cell therapy Gene therapy single use technologies Biologics Automation

Cytiva is to invest US$500m over the next five years to raise manufacturing capacity, hiring nearly 1,000 personnel in Austria, China, Singapore, Sweden, and the US, and bringing on new manufacturing lines, 24/7 shift patterns, and increased automation.

The company is targeting manufacturers of biologics, vaccines, cell and gene therapies with those upgrades.

Commenting on the investment, Emmanuel Ligner, president and CEO of Cytiva, told BioPharma-Reporter: “Expanding our global capacity and investing in talent has always been part of our strategic growth plan. The biotechnology industry has experienced exponential growth over the last several years and the demand for Covid-19 therapies and vaccines has accelerated that."

Investing to boost process automation is an important part of Cytiva’s capacity expansion project, said the chief executive.

“We know from our customers that the availability of our products and lead times are the most important considerations after quality; increased process automation provides increased efficiency and speed in our manufacturing process.”

Cytiva was created earlier this year​, after Danaher acquired GE Life Sciences for $21bn (€18.6bn) and the resulting business unit took on the new moniker.  Its global product manufacturing and distribution network encompasses 13 sites across Asia, the Americas, and Europe. 

“The biotechnology industry is growing exponentially with new modalities on the cusp of solving some of the world’s greatest health challenges,”​ Emmanuel Ligner, president and CEO of Cytiva.

The newly announced investments, said the company, will respond to in-region, for-region demand, bolster security of supply through dual manufacturing, and increase overall global capacity in key product areas.

Single-use technologies

Single-use technologies are used to manufacture 85% of the biologics currently in pre-commercial and clinical manufacturing lines. As regulatory approvals occur, demand for such products at manufacturing scale is expected to grow substantially, forecast Cytiva. Its single-use technologies range includes bioreactors and consumables such as single-use chromatography columns.

Through additional equipment and infrastructure at multiple sites, the company envisages that its capacity to manufacture such single-use products will more than double. In Asia-Pacific, single-use capacity will triple through a partnership with China, Wego, which is already producing consumables for Cytiva’s customers in the region, added the company.

Cell culture media output

It also plans to boost cell culture media production in Logan, Utah through new manufacturing lines and cleanroom space as well as additional shifts and personnel, while its Singapore and Pasching, Austria locations are increasing output through more personnel and additional work shifts. The company flagged, in May 2018, that it was boosting tenfold annual production capacity of powdered cell culture media ​at that Pasching site.

Manufacturing capacity of MabSelect and Capto chromatography product platforms has doubled due to earlier investment to allow capacity gains and facility modernization program at the manufacturer's Uppsala, Sweden site​. Now, the plant is fully automated with the latest technology to allow continuous manufacturing, reported Cytiva. Other elements, it continued, include the capacity extension of the Sephadex resin, setting-up additional facilities for in-house manufacturing, and the development of automation and digitalization infrastructure.

Cell and gene therapy

Cytiva outlined how it is supporting the rapidly growing cell and gene therapy market as well through an investment in Switzerland.

“Our new facility in Grens, Switzerland will manufacture Cytiva’s single use kits for the Sepax and Sefia cell processing systems and will be able to house up to 200 associates.

“With more than 1,000 regenerative medicine trials underway globally, we are experiencing an increased demand for our products. Our investment in this site will allow us to scale as the industry grows. It will also be home to a center of excellence that will feature advanced cell and gene therapy manufacturing facilities and serve as a European base for customer training and educational initiatives,” ​commented Ligner.

While the Covid-19 pandemic is increasing short-term demand, the biotherapeutics industry was already predicted to grow by double digits between now and 2025, according to data in BioPlan’s 2020 Report and Survey of Biopharmaceutical Manufacturing Capacity and Production.

Dual manufacturing 

The company's security of supply program is aimed at ensuring manufacturing output can respond to market demands while allowing operations and service capabilities to continue safely, and for some product lines, Cytiva claims that part of the answer is having multiple sites able to deliver to customers.

Weighing in on that, the CEO said dual manufacturing assures customers that if one location encounters capacity constraints, the company has plenty of back-up ready to activate. Cytiva said it will have multiple production lines sites for the following products when the expansion work is finalized:

  • WAVE – Fortem
  • Xuri – Fortem
  • ReadytoProcess – Fortem
  • ReadytoProcess – ReadyCircuit
  • Xcellerex
  • Hyclone Cell Culture Media
  • AKTA Flow Kits

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