Fujifilm invests in third viral vector plant citing ‘surging’ demand

Fujifilm says surge in demand for viral vectors prompted decision to invest in third development and production plant.

Fujifilm announced plans to invest $40 million to set up the new plant in in Watertown, Massachusetts last week.

The Japanese conglomerate’s contract services unit – Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies – will run the facility when it comes online.

Image: iStock/gguy44

In a press statement the CDMO’s CEO Martin Meeson said, “We are strategically establishing this facility in the greater-Boston area where there is a high concentration of biopharmaceutical companies and academia innovating in the field of advanced therapies.”

Vectors

The facility will house experimental and analytical equipment for viral vector and advanced therapy process development, with contract manufacturing services for early phase clinical trials beginning at the site.

Specific technologies include 50 L and 200 L cell cultivation tanks as well as analytical systems for process development.

Fujifilm expects the facility to be operational for process development work this autumn with vector production expected to start in late 2023.

A spokeswoman for Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies told us the investment was prompted by growing biopharmaceutical sector need for vectors for cell and gene therapies and cell line development.

“As part of our growth strategy for the bio-CDMO business, Fujifilm has positioned process development and contract manufacturing of viral vectors and advanced therapies as our primary focus.

“To further expand our offerings to our customers in the field of advanced therapies, Fujifilm has made the investment to establish a new process development and bulk drug substance manufacturing site for viral vectors and advanced therapies in the greater-Boston area.

She added that, “The manufacturing capacity at the facility will support the growing viral vector sector.”

Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies already provides viral vector production services at two facilities – in College Station, Texas and in Teesside, UK.

The spokeswoman told us “We do not disclose our capacity utilization however we have seen a surge in demand that justifies further investments.”

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