WuXi Biologics: Zero to 220,000L of Capacity in 10 Years

WuXi Biologics has invested US$60 million to build a biomanufacturing facility in Singapore. By 2022, the CDMO will have 10 plants – an achievement it attributes to disposable and modular technologies.

WuXi Biologics has announced plans to add a S$80 million (US$60 million) clinical and commercial biologics manufacturing in Singapore to its growing global network.

When operational, the site will boast 4,500 L biomanufacturing capacity comprised of two 2,000 L traditional fed-batch and one 500 L perfusion based continuous processing bioreactors.

It will also be the first overseas site in Asia for the contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO). CEO Chris Chen telling BioProcess Insider WuXi chose the location due to the established presence of biopharma’s operations in Singapore and the island-state’s “access to talent.”

WuXi will hire 150 employees at the site, expected to be operational and GMP ready in 2022.

Global Growth

WuXi Biologics opened its first biomanufacturing facility in WuXi City, China in 2012. The plant offers 5,000 L of fed-batch and perfusion bioreactor capacity.

WuXi Biologics’ site in Wuxi CIty, China. Image c/o WuXi

Last year, the contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) opened its second facility, also at the Wuxi City site.

MFG2 is the world’s largest biomanufacturing facility dedicated to disposable technologies, equipped with 14 Thermo Fisher-supplied 2,000-L single-use bioreactors for fed-batch production and a further 2,000 L of perfusion capacity. Though this is going to be topped by a 60,000 L plant at the site, set to be GMP ready in 2020.

Within the past few weeks, the Hong Kong Stock Exchange listed company has announced another spate of expansions.

Earlier this month, the firm took its first step out of its native China through a €325 million ($390 million) investment in Mullagharlin, County Louth, Ireland where it intends to build a facility boasting 54,000 L of single-use bioreactor capacity.

And just last week, WuXi unveiled plans to build two more plants for clinical and commercial biologics at a site in Shijiazhuang, Northern China.

By 2022, therefore, the CDMO will boast 10 facilities with a total bioreactor capacity of 222,700 L (see table below).

According to Chen, the growth spurt has been aided through WuXi’s next-generation bioprocessing technology platform.

“We use disposable, modular and continuous technology, which is easier to replicate globally than traditional tech and uses lower capex,” he told us.

WuXi Biologic’s Global Network

  DS Capacity GMP Ready Location Clinical/Commercial
MFG1 5,000 L fed-batch/perfusion 2012 Wuxi, China Commercial
MFG2 28,000 L fed-batch

2,000 L perfusion

2017 Wuxi, China Commercial
MFG3 5,200 L fed-batch 2018 Shanghai, China Clinical
MFG4 10,000 L fed-batch 2019 Wuxi, China Clinical/Commercial
MFG5 60,000 L fed-batch 2020 Wuxi, China Commercial
MFG6 6 x 1,000 L perfusion 2021 Mullagharlin, Ireland Commercial
MFG7 48,000 L fed-batch 2021 Mullagharlin, Ireland Commercial
MFG8 48,000 L fed-batch 2021 Shijiazhuang, China Commercial
MFG9 4,500 L fed-batch/perfusion 2022 Shijiazhuang, China Clinical/Commercial
MFG10 4,500 L fed-batch/perfusion 2022 Singapore Clinical/Commercial