FUJIFILM Continues Cell Culture Quest, Invests $1.6B in Texas, Denmark Facilities

Fujifilm_Aleksander Kalka/NurPhoto via Getty

Aleksander Kalka/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Japanese multinational FUJIFILM Corporation announced it is bolstering the cell culture manufacturing services of its subsidiary FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies to the tune of $1.6 billion. The investment will allow the industry giant to expand and enhance its facilities in Denmark and Texas.

At its Texas site, FUJIFILM Diosynth plans to use the money to implement continuous processing technologies, which will allow the subsidiary to establish an end-to-end cell culture process that can efficiently and consistently produce high-quality antibody products. Through this, Diosynth is positioning itself to rise to the rapidly growing demand for biopharmaceuticals.

The subsidiary company is among the world’s leading contract development and manufacturing organizations (CDMO), with extensive expertise in developing vaccines, biologics and other advanced therapeutics. It has major sites in the United States, United Kingdom and Denmark.

“Fujifilm is further expanding its bio CDMO business with the growth strategy of both capital investment and technological innovation to fulfill rapidly growing demand for high volume production of biopharmaceuticals,” Teiichi Goto, president, CEO and representative director of FUJIFILM Corporation, said in a statement.

“With this major investment in the large-scale production facility and the deployment of the next generation production technology, we will be the best partner for customers as the premier bio CDMO. Fujifilm will, through creation of new value from innovation, contribute to the stable supply of high-quality biopharmaceuticals, and to promoting a healthy society and further growth of [the] healthcare industry,” he added.

This investment will also allow FUJIFILM Diosynth to add eight 20,000-L bioreactors to its Denmark facility, boosting its large-scale production capacity. This brings Fujifilm to 20 such reactors, making its Denmark facility the largest end-to-end CDMO in Europe.

The $1.6-billion infusion into its subsidiary is Fujifilm’s latest move to establish a more robust presence in the cell culture manufacturing space.

Almost a year ago, in June 2021, FUJIFILM Diosynth received an $850 million investment from its parent to increase its manufacturing capacity for biologics and gene therapies and to promote the subsidiary’s growth in the U.S. and U.K. A couple of months later, FUJIFILM Diosynth began the construction of its large-scale cell culture facility in North Carolina. With eight 20,000-L bioreactors, and enough space to add 24 more, this site is shaping up to be the largest cell culture CDMO facility in North America.

Its next move came in December when FUJIFILM Diosynth announced that it was expanding its single-use manufacturing site in Texas, already the largest single-use CDMO production campus in North America. For the construction, the subsidiary is allotting some $300 million, which is part of the $850-million package announced in June 2021. The expanded facility is expected to be operational by 2024.

FUJIFILM Diosynth’s foray into the cell culture space continued this year when it announced in January that it was buying Atara Biotherapeutics for $100 million. The deal, completed in April, granted the company access to Atara’s pipeline of cutting-edge T cell therapeutic and a fully-staffed 90,000-square foot facility. Fujifilm and Atara also inked a 10-year clinical and commercial manufacturing supply agreement.

“Currently, the market for antibody drugs is expected to grow at an annual rate of over 10%. To meet these needs, Fujifilm is focused on developing a comprehensive portfolio of cell culture development and manufacturing services to support its partners in navigating the clinical journey through to commercial launch and reliable supply of antibodies to help our customers deliver medicines to patients,” Martin Meeson, CEO of FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies, told BioSpace.

“For FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies, our goal is to position ourselves as a CDMO that is agile and has the ability to provide long-term support to our customers in the biopharmaceutical industry across a full range of modalities, complex processes, and manufacturing scales to deliver tomorrow’s medicines,” Meeson added.

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