FUJIFILM plans £400m UK biopharma facility with modular cleanrooms

2-Dec-2021

FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies has announced plans for over 20,000 sqft of modular downstream cleanroom space

FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies, a contract development and manufacturing organisation (CDMO) for biologics, viral vaccines and viral vectors, has confirmed a £400 million planned investment package at its UK facility in Billingham, Teesside.

This investment package more than doubles the site's existing development and manufacturing footprint, creating the largest multi-modal biopharmaceutical manufacturing site in the UK and is expected to create up to 350 highly-skilled jobs. The new facilities are expected to be operational by late 2023.

The new multi-modal campus will include two new state-of-the-art facilities (a viral gene therapy GMP facility and a GMP mammalian cell culture facility) and is part of a ¥90 Billion Yen global capital investment package initially outlined by FUJIFILM Corporation in June 2021.

The investment will add a new cell culture facility in the expanded Billingham campus and triple existing cell culture capacity capabilities at the site with the addition of 4x2,000 L and 2x500 L single-use bioreactor production capabilities for the manufacture of both monoclonal and novel antibody treatments.

Microbial production facility expansion will include two primary recovery and refolding suites, two purification suites and a column packing room

This expansion will also include the addition of the company's MaruX GMP continuous manufacturing platform to provide customers with a differentiated connected and integrated production platform offering. The investment will also facilitate the expansion of existing capabilities in vaccine manufacturing, along with new capabilities including mRNA production.

Further to this, an expansion of the existing 5,000 L GMP microbial production facilities will also take place at the Billingham campus. This expansion will increase microbial fermentation capacity by almost two-thirds. The expansion will include over 20,000 sqft of modular downstream cleanroom space, including two primary recovery and refolding suites, two purification suites and a column packing room. It is designed to implement FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies' SymphonX technology. The expansion also includes quality control (QC) labs, office space and materials storage.

This expansion will be operational by late 2023/early 2024.

Martin Meeson, Chief Executive Officer of FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies, said: "With a strong growing demand for microbial, cell culture and viral gene therapy services, we are adding the capacity and latest technologies within one campus to offer a range of modalities to build an offering that will deliver novel promising treatments to patients for years to come."

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"It's our vision for the FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies' site in Billingham to be the beating heart of the rapidly expanding North East Life Sciences ecosystem, and this investment will create up to 350 highly-skilled jobs and additional benefits across the local and national supply chain," added Paul Found, Chief Operating Officer, FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies UK.

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FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies previously announced plans to expand its viral vector and gene therapy offerings in Darlington, UK, with process development laboratories and manufacturing capabilities to support the production of investigational use of gene therapies in early-stage clinical trials (first-in-human). The process development laboratories have already begun operations, with GMP manufacturing services starting in spring 2022.

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