- Sanofi plans to invest €300 million (roughly $340 million) to expand its biologic manufacturing facility in Geel, Belgium and build out production capabilities for its pipeline of monoclonal antibodies, the company said this week.
- As part of the expansion, the company will reportedly hire an additional 100 workers as part of the expansion, according to FiercePharma. Through its biologics unit Genzyme, Sanofi has already poured €600 million into the facility since it came online in 2001.
- Sanofi has been working on shoring up its areas of strength and building out its biologics development under the leadership of CEO Olivier Brandicourt. In January of this year, the company signed collaboration deals with Warp Drive Bio and Innate Pharma to boost its oncology portfolio.
The additional investment in the Geel site will be used to add 8000 square meters of manufacturing floor space and boost production capacity so the facility can handle larger-scale development.
Sanofi currently manufactures its global supply of Lumizyme/Myozyme, a protein therapy for a rare genetic muscular disease known as Pompe disease, at the Geel site.
"We have a robust development pipeline of biological molecules, including monoclonal antibodies, and this investment furthers our work and expertise in key disease areas such as cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and atopic dermatitis," said Phillippe Luscan, president of Sanofi in France.
In its announcement, Sanofi also hinted at plans to "launch several biologics in the upcoming years." The company is counting on several monoclonal antibodies for future growth, like sarilumab for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and dupilumab for the treatment of allergic disease.
Sarilumab recently demonstrated greater efficacy than AbbVie's market-leading Humira in a phase 3 study. Together with its collaboration partner Regeneron, Sanofi filed sarilumab with the FDA in January. The drug has a target action date of October 2016.
With the expansion, Sanofi should be better positioned to meet future production demands, although it has not indicated which products it expects will be manufactured at the Belgian site.