A rendering of Thermo Fisher's new standalone, 130,000 square-foot facility to be built in Greenville, NC (Thermo Fisher)

Look­ing for an edge in vac­cines, Ther­mo Fish­er plots ma­jor ex­pan­sions across glob­al man­u­fac­tur­ing sites in its port­fo­lio

In a big year for con­tract man­u­fac­tur­ers, Mass­a­chu­setts’ Ther­mo Fish­er Sci­en­tif­ic has emerged as a lead­ing part­ner for drug­mak­ers fight­ing the Covid-19 pan­dem­ic, par­tic­u­lar­ly in di­ag­nos­tics and ther­a­peu­tics. Now, buoyed by that suc­cess and look­ing to scale up its vac­cine of­fer­ings, Ther­mo Fish­er is plot­ting big ex­pan­sion across its glob­al port­fo­lio.

Ther­mo Fish­er will ex­pand its fa­cil­i­ties in Greenville, NC; Fer­enti­no and Mon­za, Italy; and Swin­don, Eng­land, to ex­pand its range of of­fer­ings for cus­tomers”whether it’s an emerg­ing biotech work­ing on a vac­cine for a nov­el virus or a high-vol­ume phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal man­u­fac­tur­er de­liv­er­ing nec­es­sary med­i­cines at scale,” a spokesper­son told End­points News.

Ther­mo is keep­ing the cap­i­tal out­lay for the projects un­der wraps, but here’s more about each site’s ex­pan­sion:

Greenville, NC: A new, stand­alone 130,000-square-foot build­ing which com­pris­es two live-virus fill­ing lines (op­er­a­tional in 2022), and sev­en oth­er new lines in­clud­ing com­mer­cial-scale liq­uid fill­ing lines and a de­vel­op­ment line for liq­uid and lyophilized drug prod­ucts and sy­ringes (op­er­a­tional in 2021).

Fer­enti­no, Italy: A 28,000-square-foot de­vel­op­ment build­ing will of­fer new ca­pac­i­ty for one flex­i­ble line of de­vel­op­ment projects and small-scale com­mer­cial man­u­fac­tur­ing (op­er­a­tional in 2022), with the space to add fu­ture ca­pa­bil­i­ties. The site will al­so add on a new high-ca­pac­i­ty com­mer­cial liq­uid fill­ing line that will be op­er­a­tional in 2021.

Mon­za, Italy: This site will ex­pand its ster­ile fill-fin­ish line ca­pac­i­ty, with three new lines ex­pect­ed to be op­er­a­tional in 2021, in­clud­ing one high-ca­pac­i­ty line for liq­uid and lyophilized fill­ing, one pre-filled sy­ringe/pre-filled car­tridge line for medi­um batch pro­duc­tion and one flex­i­ble mul­ti-pur­pose line for low vol­ume fill­ing of vials, pre-filled sy­ringes and pre-filled car­tridges in nest and tub con­fig­u­ra­tions.

Swin­don, Eng­land: The Swin­don ex­pan­sion will ac­tu­al­ly re­vamp the ex­ist­ing 30,000-square-foot site in­to a new, full-scale com­mer­cial man­u­fac­tur­ing fa­cil­i­ty, the spokesper­son said. The site, which will be op­er­a­tional in 2021, will add one pro­duc­tion line for liq­uid and one line for lyophilized — in ad­di­tion to “ex­ten­sive” cold-chain stor­age for vac­cines that re­quire ul­tra-low tem­per­a­tures.

The ex­pan­sions make clear the ever-grow­ing need for vi­able and ster­ile vac­cine pro­duc­tion, even out­side of the cur­rent break­neck ef­forts to pro­duce a Covid-19 vac­cine. Ther­mo Fish­er has wad­ed in­to that race as well, agree­ing in Sep­tem­ber to pro­duce In­ovio’s Covid-19 vac­cine (INO-4800) be­gin­ning in 2021.

Al­so on the Covid-19 front, Ther­mo Fish­er in May en­tered in­to a deal with Cal­i­for­nia-based Hu­mani­gen to help scale up man­u­fac­tur­ing of the biotech’s lenl­izum­ab, a clin­i­cal-stage can­di­date for cy­tokine storms that the com­pa­ny is test­ing in pa­tients with more se­vere cas­es of the res­pi­ra­to­ry virus. In Sep­tem­ber, Ther­mo Fish­er agreed to a deal with the US gov­ern­ment to pro­duce the vi­ral trans­port me­dia tubes need­ed to trans­port Covid-19 test sam­ples.

Pri­or to the four ex­pan­sion sites an­nounced this week, the com­pa­ny al­so an­nounced re­cent­ly an ex­pan­sion in Sin­ga­pore that in­cludes a high-speed ster­ile line for live-virus fill­ing. Ther­mo Fish­er al­so agreed to a joint ven­ture with In­no­force to build a new phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal ser­vices fa­cil­i­ty in Hangzhou, Chi­na that fo­cus­es on in­te­grat­ed bi­o­log­ics drug sub­stance and ster­ile drug prod­uct de­vel­op­ment and man­u­fac­tur­ing.

Both of those sites are ex­pect­ed to be com­plet­ed in 2022.

Graphic: Alexander Lefterov for Endpoints News

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Alexander Lefterov/Endpoints News

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