Seattle's AGC plots $194M investment to double production at Copenhagen site in busy year for biologics
Biologics manufacturing is an expensive and complicated process — but that hasn’t stopped some of the biopharma industry’s biggest players from making big splashes in recent years. Now, a Seattle-based CDMO is dropping a major down payment to double its presence in the field.
Citing an increased demand from global partners, Seattle-based AGC Biologics will pour $194 million into fleshing out its biologics manufacturing at its Copenhagen site, the company said late last month. The roughly 204,000-square-foot expansion in a new building will allow the global CDMO to double its capacity for work with single-use bioreactor mammalian cell-cultures.
AGC Biologics will expand the Copenhagen site on adjacent land through the addition of production floors with 2,000-liter single-use bioreactors, labs and office spaces. The expansion is expected to go online in 2023 as the company “continuously look(s) for ways to expand and extend our capabilities and capacities for our current and future customers,” CEO Patricio Massera said in a news release.
In recent months, AGC has continued to roll out an ambitious growth plan — including a facility in Boulder, CO — and has taken an active role in the production of a COVID-19 vaccine. From the Copenhagen facility, AGC Biologics will manufacture Matrix-M, the adjuvant component of Novavax’s coronavirus vaccine, NVX-CoV2373.
Also through its partnership with Novavax, the company is working at its Seattle facility to expand Matrix-M supply to ensure vaccine stock for the U.S.
AGC Biologics is far from the only company seeking to expand its impact. In mid-November, Korean biosimilar giant Celltrion unveiled plans to stick $453 million into building a new research center and manufacturing facility in Incheon, Korea. The news came less than a year after the company greenlit a $514 million biologics plant in China.
Samsung Biologics also announced this year that it would break ground on a $2 billion, 2.5 million-square-foot “Super Plant” in Incheon. CEO Tae Han Kim said in September that the plant — the company’s fourth — is an investment in “a total line refinement and addition of new mid- and small-scale facilities to ensure production efficiency and provide top-notch services to raise the bar even further to establish ourselves as the leading global standard.”
Samsung expects manufacturing there to begin in the latter half of 2022.