Thermo Fisher will drop a whopping $600M into its manufacturing supply chain as Covid-19 work ramps up
With Covid-19 contract work growing at a rapid clip, the biggest CDMOs are taking the opportunity — and a windfall of cash — to carve out bigger footprints. At Thermo Fisher Scientific, the time’s never been better for a farsighted global expansion that will greatly expand its manufacturing capacity and add redundancy to the supply chain.
Thermo will pump $600 million into its global manufacturing network as part of a move to ramp up its short-term Covid-19 work and more than double its capacity for the future, the Massachusetts firm said Wednesday.
Targeting 11 sites spread throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia, Thermo expects to add 1,500 employees to its global workforce in order to expand its bioprocessing capacity for single-use tech, cell culture media and purification. The expansions are set to be completed by 2022.
Thermo’s growing footprint will include:
- Adding capacity for single-use tech at locations in Logan, Utah; Millersburg, Pennsylvania; Cramlington, UK.; Singapore; and Suzhou, China. An additional investment at Thermo’s Santa Clara, California site will expand bioprocessing equipment and automation capacity.
- Expanding the company’s POROS resin manufacturing site in Bedford, Massachusetts. and open a new 85,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Chelmsford, Massachusetts. Those sites will “reinforce” Thermo’s purification supply chain and add expertise in vaccines and gene therapies, the company said.
- Expanding cell culture media capacity at sites in Grand Island, New York; Miami, Florida; and Inchinnan, Scotland.
“These investments add significant capacity and regional redundancy to further bolster supply chains and help us better support customers as they accelerate the commercialization of lifesaving therapies and vaccines,” Thermo Fisher executive VP Michel Lagarde said in a statement.
Similar to the other big players in the CDMO space amid a red-hot market for Covid-19 contract work, Thermo has been placing big down payments on expanding its tech in vaccines.
In January, the company shelled out $878 million to acquire Henogen SA, Novasep’s viral vector manufacturing business, which comprises two Belgian locations in Seneffe and Gosselies and offers more than 75,000 square feet of clinical and commercial manufacturing capacity. Novasep comes with 400 employees and annual revenue of $95 million. In a statement at the time, Lagarde said the addition of European manufacturing capacity would complement Thermo’s four CDMO sites in the US.
Back in December, Thermo launched a parallel global expansion for its vaccine offerings, announcing plans to beef up its facilities in Greenville, North Carolina; Ferentino and Monza, Italy; and Swindon, England.
Though not working on the scale of other major CDMOs like Catalent, Thermo did ice a deal in September to produce Inovio’s Covid-19 vaccine (INO-4800) beginning this year. Also on the Covid front, Thermo in May entered into a deal with California-based Humanigen to help scale up manufacturing of the biotech’s lenzilumab, 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.