Drumroll, please: Fujifilm Diosynth picks North Carolina as new home for $2B cell-culture superplant
Fujifilm made waves earlier this year when it announced a new $2 billion plant for its CDMO arm — Fujifulm Diosynth Technologies — that few facilities have matched in terms of dollar figure. The only thing left to decide is where exactly the facility would go, and now that mystery has been solved.
Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies, the CDMO arm of Japan’s tech and life sciences giant, has selected Holly Springs, NC, as the site of its $2 billion cell culture superplant, adding 725 jobs in the area by 2028, the company said Thursday.
Fujifilm had been searching for a home for the plant after announcing its intent to build back in January. The company eyed locations within shouting distance of its existing US sites in College Station, TX, and Morrisville, NC.
Ultimately, North Carolina won the lottery due to its “strong pool of technical talent, local resources and partners with the right competencies, clean energy resources, and sustainability for future growth,” Fujifilm said in a release.
Rendering of the future Holly Springs site — via Fujifilm
Click on the image to see the full-sized version
The plants will come online in spring 2025 and house eight 20,000-liter bioreactors with the potential to expand and add a further 24 bioreactors of the same size “based on market demand,” the company says. The site will also include commercial-scale, automated fill-finish and assembly, packaging and labelling services.
The site will rival in size the equally massive $2 billion plant Korean giant Samsung is planning in Incheon. That facility, also focused on biologics, will cover about 2.5 million square feet, Samsung said back in September. It will add 256KL to Samsung’s overall manufacturing capacity, bringing the company’s total to 620KL.
The Holly Springs plant is only one arm of Fujifilm’s stateside expansion plans as it boosts it contract manufacturing work for Covid-19 vaccines, including making the viral vectors that deliver J&J’s one-shot vaccine.
In January, the firm announced it would drop $40 million to establish a new headquarters in the greater Boston area, which will also function as its third viral-vector manufacturing site.
The Boston facility is set to begin process development analyses and experiments for conditioning cell cultivation by the fall of 2021. The capacity for drug substance manufacturing in early-stage clinical trials will come later, in fall 2023, the company said in a press release at the time.
Fujifilm has also recently expanded its viral-vector plant in Texas — that facility opened in 2014 and has since undergone a $120 million buildout to further increase manufacturing capacity. In October, the company also announced plans for a gene therapy site in the UK, which it said would be operational by this spring.