WuXi Biologics establishes microbial fermentation in latest expansion

Having rapidly built up its mammalian biomanufacturing network, WuXi Biologics says it will now add microbial fermentation to its CDMO offering.

At the end of October this year, Chinese contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) WuXi Biologics announced its latest financing round with intentions to raise roughly HK$3,950 million ($500 million).

The supporting document states: “The Company intends to apply the net proceeds from the Primary Placing to support its development of vaccines and microbial based products as well as continuous global capacity expansion.”

Image: iStock/CHIARI_VFX

The “continuous global capacity expansion” in the CDMO’s mammalian capacity has been well-documented – within a 10-year period the firm will have gone from zero to more than 220,000 L of bioreactor capacity – while the vaccine development business has manifested itself through a joint venture with Shanghai-based Hile Bio-Technology and a planned $240 million production plant in Ireland.

But this is the first mention of microbial fermentation from WuXi and after being contacted by Bioprocess Insider the firm has confirmed it is planning the introduction of a microbial platform.

Specific investment has not been disclosed, but the firm will establish what it describes as “an integrated innovation center for new biologics technology platforms including microbial” in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China.

All microbial CMC/development and manufacturing activities will take place at the center, located around 160km from Shanghai.

“Over the past decade, microbial fermentation has reached a higher level of sophistication, with wider adoption in the biopharmaceutical industry,” WuXi Biologics CEO Chris Chen said in literature sent to us this morning. “We’re excited to expand our technology platforms into this promising area, utilizing our extensive know-how in biologics discovery, development and manufacturing.”

One thought on “WuXi Biologics establishes microbial fermentation in latest expansion

  1. Dan,

    It looks like WuXi is catching on to a unique space. Have you looked at other companies and where do you see this space in the next few years?

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