CDMO Fujifilm buys Danish plant from Biogen for $890m

Biogen has sold a 90,000 L mammalian cell culture to Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies. The deal propels the CDMO into the top 10 of biomanufacturers based on tank capacity.

The manufacturing plant in Hillerød, Denmark will be taken over by contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies, with all the approximately 800 staff members being retained, in the $890 million (€790 million).

“The plan is for Fujifilm to use the Hillerød site to produce commercial products for Biogen as well as other third-party products,” Fujifilm spokesperson Christine Jackman told BioProcess Insider.

Image: iStock/naruedom

The plant will join Fujifilm’s biomanufacturing network – currently comprising UK sites in Billingham and Redcar, and US operations in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina and College Station, Texas – and will offer customers large volume cell culture scale-up options for their biologic products through six x 15,000 L stainless steel bioreactors.

“Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies has production facilities suitable for multiproduct production such as single-use 2,000L mammalian cell culturing tanks with exceptional mobility and flexibility, and strengths in the production of investigational drugs and small to medium-scale commercial production,” Jackman said.

“The addition of Biogen Denmark Manufacturing’s mass production facilities will enable large-scale commercial production. As we will also be able to handle the entire process from the manufacturing of investigational drugs to large-scale commercial production, we will be able to expand our customer base.”

CDMO ambition

In 2017, Fujifilm Corporation rebranded its CDMO business and laid down plans to achieve sales of JPY 100 billion ($900 million) by 2024 – almost four times its 2016 revenue. The firm said it would make significant capital investments to reinforce the company’s capabilities to achieve this high level of business growth.

That year the firm invested $130m into its global CDMO business, and in January 2019 announced a further $111 million boost to its US operations.

The Hillerød addition is the largest investment in capacity so far, both in terms of financials and in terms of capacity. According to Jackman, the Hillerød site propels the CDMO into the elite among biomanufacturers, based on capacity.

“In terms of tank capacity, Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies is now considered at the same level as the top 10 manufacturers.”

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