Japanese CMO Fujifilm Diosynth spends extra $28M in US, UK mAb facilities

Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies is channeling another $28 million from its parents company into two new manufacturing facilities in Texas and the UK, aggressively adding equipment and space to $123 million worth of machines and buildings that were just announced in April.

A relative newcomer to the contract development and manufacturing business, the subsidiary of Japanese Fujifilm Corp is keen on gaining market share from the likes of Lonza and Catalent. The two sites being expanded specialize in monoclonal antibodies; due to high demand, the company says they decided to pour in extra money earlier than scheduled, even before the facilities are fully operational.

Steve Bagshaw

The College Station, TX facility was finished in April and is slated to start operations in early 2018. When the new round of installation is complete, the Texas facility will boast six single-use 2,000-litre mammalian cell culture tanks — double the original number. FDB clearly expects further growth, as the location is big enough to hold 12 of such tanks.

This facility builds on a site FDB acquired from Kalon Biotherapeutics when it bought out the contract development manufacturing organization back in 2014, through an agreement with its co-owners, the state of Texas and the Texas A&M University System. That was the third (and last) biomedical CDMO FDB had bought since 2011.

“Texas area is a growing biotech hub,” said CEO Steve Bagshaw, who oversees both operations, echoing a hopeful portrait FDB painted in a 2014 statement announcing the completion of the Kalon acquisition.

The UK site, which concluded construction in September, is located in Wilton Centre, Redcar. FDB plans to build another floor area almost as big as the entire current facility, and fill it with bioreactors and chromatography systems.

In a statement released today, FDB reiterates its target sales of almost $879 million by 2023. It is a big task, but the company isn’t shying away from spending to make it happen.

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