Fujifilm selects NC for 160,000 L mammalian plant

Infrastructure, state incentives, and proximity to an existing facility have driven CDMO Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies to select Holly Springs, North Carolina as the site of its ¥200 billion biologics plant.

In January, Fujifilm Corporation announced plans to invest ¥200 billion (then $2 billion, now $1.8 billion) to build a biologics facility in the US run by its contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) business Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies (FDB).

Details, including the planned mammalian cell culture capacity of 160,000 L (made up of eight 20,000 L stainless-steel tanks) – expandable to 640,00 L – and a planned operation start date of Spring 2025, were laid out but the location was not divulged.

Holly Springs, NC. The location for FDB’s 160,000 L mammalian cell culture site.

Until now, that is, with the CDMO announcing this week the mammoth facility will open in Holly Springs, about 10 miles southwest of Raleigh, North Carolina.

“From the start we wanted to build close to an existing Fujifilm facility,” spokeswoman Christine Jackman told BioProcess Insider. “Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies already has a strong presence in North Carolina with its existing Morrisville location, which has allowed us to build strong partnerships in the region.”

The Morrisville site offers cell culture and microbial manufacturing and is itself undergoing a $54 million expansion. The facility is also producing bulk drug substance for Novavax’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate NVX-CoV2373.

Holly Springs, meanwhile, has placed itself in an attractive position to life sciences firms through “strategic investments in water, sewer, and road infrastructure,” Jackman added, highlighting the town’s reclaimed water program, which she said “not only saves businesses money, but enables them to incorporate environmentally friendly practices into daily operations,” aligning with FDB’s long-term sustainability goals.

The project is expected to create 725 skilled jobs in the area by the end of 2028, and will be facilitated in part by North Carolina’s Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG).

“Over the course of the 12-year term of this grant, the project is estimated to grow the state’s economy by $5.5 billion,” Jackman explained. “Using a formula that takes into account the new tax revenues generated by the new jobs, the JDIG agreement authorizes the potential reimbursement to the company of up to $19,724,250, spread over 12 years, based on a required capital investment of $1.5 billion.”

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