Fujifilm Diosynth announces further UK cell culture expansion plans

Published: 14-May-2019

The construction of the new BioCampus is estimated to cost £12.6m ($16.3m)

The global biologics CDMO Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies (FDB) has announced an expansion to its UK location through the creation of a new BioCampus. These funds will help to kick start the first stage of the BioCampus while at the same time enabling subsequent phases of investment and development planned by FDB. The total cost of the BioCampus project is estimated to be £12.6m ($16.3m).

The expansion will be partly supported by the Tess Valley Combined Authority (TVCA) through a grant funding of up to £3.6 ($4.7) million.

The initial phase of this project will involve a new purpose-built facility. This will consist of approximately 42,000 sqft of space and will house around 250 existing staff with an additional approximately 50 new high-value jobs. It is expected that these new jobs will be filled within a span of two years.

FDB told BioProcess International that though the initial phase would be focused on an administrative facility, promoting paperless and barrierless working, the expansion would later support the nearby Wilton Center capacity increase, allowing the company to “double the number of high throughput antibody process implementation programs per year.”

Of course, any international body looking to set up new operations in the UK must consider the implications of Brexit. A spokesperson from the company told BioProcess International: "We are expecting Brexit to have minimal impact on our operations. We are investing in this site as we invest in all the sites.”

This announcement is the latest on a series of investments made by Fujifilm Corporation to grow FDB and the CDMO business. In September 2017 FDB announced the opening of the 10,000 sqft, cell culture process development laboratories in Wilton Centre, Teesside.

Then, in January 2019, the Wilton Laboratories were further expanded with the addition of 7,000 sqft of laboratory space increasing FDB’s cell culture process development capacity. The new space will also support dedicated process characterisation activities.

“We continue to focus our growth here in the North East of England,” said Paul Found, COO of Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies in the UK. “We are proud of the part Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies is playing in growing the North East’s biotechnology industry and being a player in the creation of highly specialised jobs.”

Under its bio CDMO business recently established in March 2017, Fujifilm seeks to maintain an aggressive capital investment strategy in combination with the development of highly efficient and highly productive technologies. The company also seeks to contribute to the further advancement of the pharmaceutical industry through the stable supply of high-quality pharmaceutical products.

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