The site is based in Darlington and contains modern equipment and clean rooms for manufacturing viral vectors, which are often used to deliver gene therapies into patient tissues. The facility also has a cell culture capacity of up to 200 litres in addition to segregated suites for viral and non-viral work.
The CDMO subsidiary of Fujifilm Corporation has been expanding its manufacturing muscle in recent years. Last year, for example, the company kicked off a $300-million expansion of its single-use manufacturing campus in Texas, with the aim of doubling Fujifilm’s advanced therapy and vaccine manufacturing capacity when it is operational in 2024.
The new U.K. facility, in turn, is specially designed to accommodate soaring demand for advanced therapies in early-stage clinical trials.
“We are excited to continue working with our biopharmaceutical partners, including early-stage companies, to help them bring new gene therapies to market, which hold tremendous promise in revolutionizing treatment options for patients,” said Jonathan Haigh, head of UK site at Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies, in a public statement.
“In addition to providing increased manufacturing capacity for our early-stage customers, we look forward to helping them efficiently navigate preclinical and Phase I hurdles by offering complementary services for fast, yet flexible drug candidate screening as well as feasibility studies,” he added.
The establishment of the latest facility follows the recent appointment of a new CEO of Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies, Lars Petersen, in June. The company also purchased 41 acres of land next to its facility in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, with the eventual aim of growing its biologics manufacturing capacity.
Many major CDMOs and big pharma companies around the world are also expanding their manufacturing muscle, with examples including Samsung Biologics and Lotte Biologics. Bristol Myers Squibb also swelled its own capacity when it acquired a viral vector production facility from Novartis earlier this year.