WuXi building twelfth plant as biologics contracts ramp up

With a portfolio approaching 200 products, CDMO WuXi Biologics has begun constructing a 1.6 million square-foot facility in Shanghai, China.

Contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) WuXi Biologics is building what it calls a ‘Biologics Innovation Center’ in Fengxian, Shanghai. The 1.6 million square-foot facility will include biologics discovery and development laboratories, as well as GMP manufacturing, CEO Chris Chen told BioProcessing Insider.

He added the labs will open in 2019, while the GMP plant will open its doors in 2021, though for now the planned “significant” capacity has not been disclosed.

China’s WuXi Biologics is building another plant to deal with growing biomanufacturing services demand. Image: iStock/liulolo

WuXi has been rapidly expanding over the past few years, and this latest project will become the twelfth biomanufacturing plant in the firm’s network. Earlier this year, the CDMO announced it was constructing two facilities in Shijiazhuang, China with a total of 52,500 L of single-use capacity, set to become its sixth and seventh Chinese facility.

The firm has also begun taking steps outside its native China, announcing facilities in Ireland, Singapore, and Massachusetts (US) over the past seven months.

According to Chen, the rapid expansion is required to deal with the growing demand for biologics manufacturing and services the firm is seeing. “We have a portfolio of 187 biologics that need manufacturing, and the number of projects is still growing.”

Once complete, the Fengxian site will hire more than 3,000 scientists, most of which will be sourced from China.

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
MFG11 4,500 L fed-batch/perfusion 2020 Massachusetts, US Clinical/Commercial
MFG12  ‘Biologics Innovation Center,’ undisclosed capacity 2021 Fengxian, Shanghai, China Clinical/Commercial