- Fujifilm said it will invest around 13 billion yen, or roughly $120 million, in gene therapy as it bets on significant growth for contract development and manufacturing organizations.
- The investment includes a new $55 million Gene Therapy Innovation Center in College Station, Texas, that will benefit Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies, a joint venture between Fujifilm and Mitsubishi.
- Additionally, Fujifilm said it will expand the joint venture's current manufacturing facility, with new clean rooms and eight new 500 liter to 2,000 liter single-use bioreactors.
Fujifilm is looking to take advantage of the gene therapy market — which, for CDMOs, is expected to reach $1.7 billion by 2025, according to Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies' market research.
"We are very much aware of the incredible growth in such an important therapeutic space," Martin Meeson, president and chief operating officer of FDB U.S., said in a Nov. 14 statement. "We know that we need to invest now, in technology, assets and people in order to achieve a market leadership position."
The new Gene Therapy Innovation Center on the existing FDB campus in Texas will be about 60,000 square feet and operational starting in fall 2021. FDB expects the center to triple its gene therapy development capabilities and add about 100 jobs.
Meanwhile, the first stage of the expansion for the existing manufacturing facility should be complete by the spring of 2021, Fujifilm said.
The Japan-based company's fresh investments in gene therapy come amid a wave of expansions, mergers and partnerships in the growing field.
This month, Swiss manufacturer Lonza announced a new partnership with cold chain specialist Cryoport as part of its goal to provide a seamless "vein-to-vein" network in cell and gene therapy. Lonza also opened a 300,000-square-foot plant last year in Texas dedicated to manufacturing the therapies.
Catalent earlier this year bought Paragon Bioservices for $1.2 billion to strengthen its position as a CDMO of gene therapies. And Thermo Fisher acquired viral vector manufacturer Brammer Bio for $1.7 billion.
Fujifilm forecasts sales of 100 billion yen for its CDMO business in the fiscal year ending March 2022.