- Fujifilm Holdings Corp. opened an expanded drug manufacturing plant in the U.K. earlier this week, completing the latest step in its journey toward a stronger foothold in the pharmaceutical industry.
- The 10,000-square-foot facility, which includes a mammalian cell culture center of excellence, is now up and running in Teesside, England — just a stone's throw from away from another of the Japanese's company's production sites in Billingham.
- Fujifilm's Diosynth Biotechnologies business paid JPY 1 billion ($9 million) for the new facility, and also received funding from the U.K.'s Regional Growth Fund, which aims to foster private sector investment and local economic growth.
Of the various industries Fujifilm operates within, pharma appears to be a priority. Its M&A activities reflect that: the company acquired human cell manufacturer Cellular Dynamics International for upwards of $300 million in 2015, and last year it inked a $60 million deal with Merck & Co. to establish a 20,000-square-foot microbial biologics facility.
Perhaps most noteworthy, however, was when Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies' announced in April plans to invest JPY 14 billion ($130M USD) in manufacturing expansions. Those expansions included the 10,000-square-foot plant in the U.K. and a roughly $120 million addition of bioreactors at a site in Texas.
The U.K. expansion further supports the company's trademarked monoclonal antibody (mAb) platform, named Saturn, which offers manufacturing services for drugmakers focused on cell culture-based therapies.
"These laboratories are designed to incorporate the latest high-throughput technologies, including fully automated high throughput bioreactors and chromatography systems," Andy Topping, Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies' chief scientific officer, said in a Sept. 12 statement.
The company also highlighted that these latest developments should strengthen its position in the rapidly evolving pharma manufacturing space.
"The Saturn Process Development Laboratories are a huge differentiator in the cell culture and monoclonal antibody process development space," said Paul Found, COO, Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies UK sites.