- AGC Biologics is further expanding its operations through a 150,000-square-foot facility that will serve as the contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO)'s global headquarters, as well as provide additional research and production space.
- Located in Bothell, Washington, the building will house process development labs, corporate administrative offices and an R&D center AGC expects will speed up manufacturing of protein-based therapies. The building will be adjacent to an existing AGC biologics plant.
- Across its six sites located in the U.S., Europe and Asia, AGC offers services ranging from mammalian and microbial cell production to large-scale fermentation and chromatography purification.
Production of large-molecule drugs has gained more and more attention from the industry, perhaps most notably with big pharma players.
Last summer, Sanofi SA said it would devote €600 million (roughly $673 million at the time) to biologics manufacturing each year for the following two to three years. Shortly before that disclosure, Novartis AG announced plans to eliminate 500 jobs, but anticipated creating 350 "high-tech" positions, including many in biologics production, in the coming months.
Biologics, however, are often difficult and costly to develop. As a result, drugmakers have increasingly shipped out their research and manufacturing needs to contracting organizations.
In turn, CDMOs like Wuxi Biologics Inc. and Fujifilm Corp. have poured investment into building out their services and capacities. Some have even turned to big-ticket M&A to achieve scale. In May 2017, for instance, Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. agreed to drop $7.2 billion to acquire Patheon Inc.
The smaller AGC is going through a growth spurt as well. In addition to the Bowell expansion, the company in early March said it was adding a 2,000 liter single-use bioreactor to its Berkeley, California, facility. According to a March 6 statement, the facility has tripled its capacity over the last three years.
"The expansion of our Bothell site is another substantial milestone for AGC Biologics and a commitment to our operations in Washington State," Gustavo Mahler, CEO of AGC, said in a statement.
"These new state-of-the-art facilities will enable us to meaningfully advance and further integrate the development, manufacturing, and commercial functions within our dynamic global headquarters, as well as provide additional footprint for further manufacturing expansion," Mahler added.