Fujifilm to build $188M manufacturing plant in North Carolina’s research triangle
As the Japanese conglomerate Fujifilm continues to invest heavily in its CDMO arm, one of its manufacturing divisions is teeing up a major investment.
Fujifilm Irvine Scientific announced on Tuesday that parent Fujifilm is making a $188 million investment to build a cell culture media manufacturing site in the Research Triangle Park in North Carolina. The new site will mark Fujifilm Irvine’s fifth manufacturing site globally and its second in the US.
The 250,000-square-foot site will sit on 64 acres in the research park and produce dry powder and liquid media, with the capacity to manufacture 800,000 kilograms per year of dry powder and 3.3 million liters per year of liquid media. The site will also have a capacity of 40,000 liters per day of water for injection.
Both the land development and construction are slated to start in 2023, with production starting in 2025. The company will also look to hire around 100 workers for the site.
“The cell culture media that will be manufactured at this new site in North Carolina will help ensure a steady supply of raw materials for biologics, cell and gene therapies, and other key medicines that are essential to human health. The additional production capacity will ensure we meet the projected demand for cell culture media from our customers worldwide,” said Yutaka Yamaguchi, Fujifilm Irvine Scientific’s CEO, in a statement.
Fujifilm Irvine is building a second US site due to “rapid growth” over the past decade and a predicted uptick in demand for cell culture media to support more “advanced therapies.” The Research Triangle Park was selected because it’s an “ideal location” that can provide supply chain security and a good jumping-off point to deliver to its customers in the region.
Fujifilm enters an extremely hot area for wider biotech and pharma manufacturing. Companies such as KBI, Chinese cell therapy company CARsgen and Enzyvant have all planted their flags and set up manufacturing operations in the park in the past few years.
Last year Eli Lilly announced it was adding the eighth site to its network of manufacturing plants in the US, investing $470 million to begin production of injectable products and delivery devices in the Research Triangle Park.
Fujifilm’s CDMO, Fujifilm Diosynth, is engaging in several projects in the region, as last year it announced it will expand its BioProcess Innovation Center at the Research Triangle Park and double its existing laboratory footprint in the Tar Heel State, as well as add another 145 jobs to the site by 2024 and 89,000 square feet.
Last October, Fujifilm Diosynth broke ground on a $2 billion project on a site to manufacture cell cultures for bulk drug substances in nearby Holly Springs, NC. That site will have eight 20,000-liter bioreactors, and the potential to add another 24 in the future, based on market demand.