Looking to build a 'dual sourcing' supply chain, WuXi Biologics shells out $183M for Bayer drug substance plant
Biologics have been particularly hot in 2020 with big drugmakers looking to bolster their portfolio — a trend that has been a serious boon for contract manufacturers. WuXi Biologics started off the year adding to its own production capacity in Germany to keep up with that expected demand, and now it’s going back to Deutschland for another expansion.
Shanghai-based Wuxi will drop roughly 150 million euros—or $183.3 million— in an acquisition deal for Bayer’s 330,000 square-foot drug substance facility in Wuppertal, Germany, as it seeks to enhance a supply network of Covid-19 vaccines and other biologics. The newest facility will also add to WuXi’s “global dual sourcing” strategy to add redundancy into its supply chain, CEO Chris Chen said in a release.
The facility houses three 1,000-liter perfusion reactors for biologics as well as six 1,000-liter fed-batch bioreactors, WuXi said. Those two manufacturing lines will include independent downstream suites, according to a release.
Both companies also plan to enter into a long-term sublease agreement and a transition service contract, they said in a press release. Once the transaction, which is still subject to regulatory approval, is approved and finalized, WuXi will add thousands of liters to its manufacturing output, the company said.
The former Bayer facility is expected to be ready for drug substance and product manufacturing in 2021; by 2023, WuXi expects its total capacity at facilities in the U.S., China, Ireland, Germany and Singapore will exceed 280,000 liters.
WuXi has now bookended 2020 with purchasing Bayer facilities in Germany, as it also bought a Leverkusen manufacturing plant in January. That site also serves as a back-up production site for Bayer’s Kovaltry, a hemophilia A therapeutic.
As of June 30, WuXi said it had a total of 286 integrated projects, including 141 projects in pre-clinical development stage, 125 projects in early-phase clinical development, 19 projects in late-phase development and one project in commercial manufacturing.