Pharma Focus Asia

Fujifilm Expands Biopharmaceutical Contract Development and Manufacturing Business

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

FUJIFILM Corporation is to invest a total of 3.2 billion yen on its CDMO*1 sites in the U.S.A. and the U.K. in order to accelerate the expansion of the company's business for developing and manufacturing biopharmaceuticals*2 under contract for other parties.

In addition to investing approximately 2.2 billion yen in a GMP facility dedicated to the production of monoclonal antibodies at the FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies (FDB) site in College Station, Texas, U.S.A., the company is also investing approximately 1.0 billion yen at its Wilton Centre site in Redcar, U.K., to expand the floor area of the development site of production processes for antibodies and install an additional facility. The new investment will expand the existing Saturn mAb™*3 Process Development Laboratories dedicated to the development of monoclonal antibodies under FDB’s Platform. From Fall 2018 onwards, the new facilities will ramp up operation, bolstering the company's ability to accept orders from its customers for process development and manufacturing in the field of antibodies.

In March 2017, Fujifilm established the company’s Bio CDMO Division which oversees the expansion of its contract development and manufacturing business focused on FDB. Currently, FDB is concentrating on providing solutions to deliver biotherapeutics and advanced therapies to its customers. In the area of monoclonal antibody, the Saturn mAb platformTM offering is capable of providing a single integrated and efficient workflow that starts with the development of production processes and also includes the provision of drugs for clinical trials as well as the commercial production of biopharmaceuticals. The company is working to strengthen its business capacity through measures including the installation of three single-use*4 2,000-litre mammalian cell culture tanks, scheduled to begin operation early 2018 in the cGMP-compliant*5 production facility that has recently been completed at Texas site as well as the company’s new U.K facility that opened in September.

In order to respond to growing customer needs in this field, Fujifilm has decided to make additional investments earlier than scheduled. Three new single-use 2,000-litre mammalian cell culture tanks are to be installed at the Texas facility for a total of six tanks. In addition, the company will be expanding the floor area of process development site in the U.K. to nearly double the existing space of approximately 930 m2 while also expanding the range of state-of-the-art equipment with the latest high-throughput technologies, including fully automated bioreactors and chromatography systems, to enable for rapid and efficient monoclonal antibody manufacturing process readiness. These measures will bolster the company's contract development and manufacturing business by using the Saturn mAb platformTM for the process development and manufacturing of antibodies. Total cumulative investment in the platform will reach approximately 17.2 billion yen.

At the Texas site, the new production block has sufficient space for expansion up to a maximum of 12 cell culture tanks, which will allow the company to respond promptly to customer demands for increased production and future demand growth.

Fujifilm will continue to further expand its biopharmaceutical production capabilities, and it will further develop high efficiency and high productivity technology by combining group technologies, to continue to grow further the business. It is targeting sales of 100 billion yen in its CDMO business by fiscal year ending March 2024.

Biopharmaceuticals are gaining an increasing share of the overall pharmaceuticals market due to the potential to achieve strong results with very few side-effects. Biopharmaceutical production requires the use of advanced manufacturing technologies and facilities for culturing, separation and purification. The number of pharmaceutical companies and bio-venture companies outsourcing process development and manufacturing activities to CDMOs with excellent technologies and facilities is increasing. The contract development and manufacturing market for biopharmaceutical is projected to achieve growth of 8%*6 per annum accordingly.

Fujifilm is determined to make further progress through the growth strategies of its business for biopharmaceutical contract development and manufacturing. In addition to accelerating expansion of the business, Fujifilm will also contribute to the further development of the pharmaceuticals industry through the stable provision of high-quality pharmaceuticals.

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