- Japanese company Fujifilm Corporation said this week it will invest ¥3.2 billion (roughly $28 million) into its CDMO operations, expanding its U.S. and U.K. capacity for development and manufacturing of biopharmaceuticals.
- About two-third of the allotted cash will be used to add three additional 2,000-liter mammalian cell culture tanks at Fujifilm's site in College Station, Texas, which produces monoclonal antibodies.
- The remaining $9 million or so will be used to expand Fujifilm's Wilton Centre, Redcar, U.K. site, almost doubling the floor space dedicated to antibody production while expanding the range of equipment and installing an additional facility.
Fujifilm, once almost solely known for its work in photographic film, moved to diversify as the industry contracted, creating new units to help the company pivot.
Fujifilm's CDMO — Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies — was created when Fujifilm acquired Diosynth from Merck & Co and then further expanded at the end of 2014 when Fujifilm completed the acquisition of Kalon Biotherapeutics, LLC
More recently, Fujifilm created a BIO CDMO division in March to further focus its efforts in the space, and to specifically support the company's monoclonal antibody process platform, dubbed Saturn.
This single integrated process has its own dedicated laboratories with a GMP manufacturing facility built around single-use technology to avoid crossover with non-monoclonal antibody processes.
The new investments announced this week comes sooner than Fujifilm had expected, due to growing "customer needs." Fujifilm, for its part, predicts the CDMO market for biopharmaceuticals will grow by about 8% per year.
Biologics have become a major force in the pharmaceutical industry, but not all companies have the expertise or the facilities to manufacture these specialized large molecules. Fujifilm and others are seeking to fill that demand with increased CDMO capacity.
Fujifilm hopes its CDMO business will eventually bring in total sales of nearly $900 million by March 2024.