Fujifilm Diosynth reserves space for Gates backed COVID-19 therapies

Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies has agreed to dedicate space at its plant in Hillerod, Denmark to the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator.

Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies (FDB) will work with a pharmaceutical partner to support the swift manufacture of a COVID-19 therapy for patients in lower-income countries.

According to the contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) the deal includes drug substance manufacture along with supporting drug product (DP) and assembly, label and packaging of COVID-19 therapeutics.

CEO Martin Meeson told us “Under the agreement, significant production volumes are secured in FDB Denmark site for 2021 with options for a number of years thereafter.”

Image: iStock/Serhii Akhtemiichuk

“The COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator will identify a promising monoclonal antibody therapeutic candidate based on efficacy and safety data demonstrated in clinical trials.”

The CDMO declined to comment when asked if it would be paid to reserve the manufacturing space.

COVID-19 accelerator

The Therapeutics Accelerator is an initiative launched by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Wellcome, and Mastercard to speed-up the response to the global pandemic.

The plan is to identify potential treatments for COVID-19, accelerate their development, and prepare for the manufacture of millions of doses for use worldwide.

According to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator is designed to do for treatment what CEPI, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, does for vaccines.

It said the plan “requires governments, private enterprise, and philanthropic organizations to act urgently to fund innovation for drugs that can be developed, mass-produced and delivered rapidly.”

CEPI CEO Richard Hatchett spoke about the organization’s work with Moderna and others at the BIO-Europe Spring plenary session in March.

Supply agreements

Fujifilm acquired the plant from Biogen in March last year for $890 million.

It is equipped with 6 x 20,000 L bioreactors that are used for the manufacture of cell culture derived biologics for clinical and commercial use.

At the time Fujifilm said products made by Biogen at the site will continue to be supplied under Fujifilm ownership.

This deal will not be impacted by the agreement with the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator according to Meeson.

“We look forward to continuing to serve our existing customers while also reserving the necessary capacity to meet the needs of COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator” Meeson said.

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