Facilities & Capacity

Drones to bioreactors: CDMO Culture Biosciences ready to fly high

Culture Biosciences has secured $5.5 million in funding. Founded by former Google X engineers, the CDMO has harnessed drone delivery technology to support its bioreactor simulation and scale-up services. Led by Section 32, with participation from Refactor Capital and Verily, South San Francisco, California-based firm Culture Biosciences has raised $5.5 million (€4.9 million). The contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) is offering biotech firms a digital biomanufacturing platform and bioreactor facilities to run, monitor and analyze bioreactor experiments to assess…

AstraZeneca ups yields but takes $400m hit on plant closures

“We can produce the volume we need with more limited manufacturing capacity,” says AstraZeneca in the wake of closing two biologics facilities in Colorado. Last month, AstraZeneca announced plans to consolidate its US biologics manufacturing operations. This included closing facilities in Boulder and Longmont, Colorado less than four years after acquiring them from Amgen, and moving operations to its site in Frederick, Maryland. The restructure aims to drive efficiencies in its operations network, but the Anglo-Swedish firm said it expects…

Meissner expanding footprint with Irish gov support

Filtration firm Meissner will establish a facility in County Mayo, Ireland for the manufacture of single-use systems, creating 150 jobs. Meissner Filtration Products has taken advantage of a 34,000 square-foot facility Advanced Technology Building, constructed by Ireland’s investment agency IDA, and plans to expand it by a further 100,000 square-feet. The firm plans to construct a cleanroom within the existing facility to be used for the manufacture of single-use systems (SUS) to support biopharmaceutical clients. Adjacent land at the site…

Dual sourcing drives global network as WuXi inks Amicus deal

WuXi Biologics will harness its growing global network to supply the commercial drug substance and product for Amicus Therapeutics’ Pompe biologic ATB200. Amicus Therapeutics is developing a therapy consisting of recombinant human acid alpha-glucosidase (rhGAA) enzyme with an optimized carbohydrate structure, administered with a small molecule pharmacological chaperone. The product, ATB200, will be made by contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) WuXi Biologics. The firm, which has been working with Amicus to scale-up the product over the past few years,…

Regeneron plans to expand Irish biomanufacturing site again

Regeneron has applied to build a three-storey facility as part of a reported €200 million ($228 million) expansion at its Limerick site. Biopharma firm Regeneron has applied for a 10 year permission to add a three-storey 10,200 m2 administration and laboratory building with associated plant and equipment to its manufacturing site in Ballycummin, Limerick, Ireland. The firm is also hoping to convert a temporary induction/training center and facility workshop to permanent use, as well as build a carpark, Limerick City…

Madison expansion will add commercial capacity, says Catalent

Plans to invest $200 million laid down last year will put Catalent in a position to offer commercial manufacturing from its Madison, Wisconsin facility, the CDMO says. In November 2018, contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) Catalent announced its intentions to invest across its two biomanufacturing sites. The board laid down plans to plough $100 million (€88 million) into its Madison, Wisconsin plant to add a fourth and fifth biomanufacturing train. During Catalent’s second quarter FY2019 financial call this week,…

Thermo Fisher to make T cells for Torque at new NJ plant

Thermo Fisher will staff and operate a modular and fully-closed cell therapy facility in New Jersey on behalf of Torque. The 10,000 square-foot facility in Princeton, New Jersey is set to come online in 2019 and will support Torque’s immuno-oncology ‘Deep-Primed T Cell’ candidates. The products use the firm’s cell process engineering technologies, which do not require genetic engineering of the T cells, and lead candidate TRQ1501 (Deep IL-15 primed T cells) is set to begin Phase I/II clinical trials…

Novo Nordisk DKK 9bn CapEx in 2019 ‘higher than expected’

Novo Nordisk spent $1.5 billion on CapEx in 2018 and expects to pay a further $1.4 billion in 2019 driven by investment in drug substance at its North Carolina site. Danish drugmaker Novo Nordisk had a flat year in 2018, pulling in sales of DKK 112 billion ($17 billion). Net profit remained relatively constant too, with the firm reporting DKK 39 billion ($6 billion). According to CFO Karsten Munk Knudsen, “manufacturing had a fantastic year in 2018. He told stakeholder:…

Samsung BioLogics to double utilization of 3rd plant by end of year

Three months after production began at its 180,000 L facility, CDMO Samsung BioLogics says it has filled 25% of its capacity. In October 2018, South Korean contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) Samsung BioLogics started commercial production at its third facility located at its Songdo, Incheon site. The plant has been touted as the world’s largest single biomanufacturing facility, boasting 180,000 L of capacity from 12 15,000 L stainless steel tanks, and according to Samsung BioLogics’ 2018 results, it is…

Amgen completes five-year plan, sees 24% drop in facility footprint

Amgen’s commitment to next generation biomanufacturing has led to a reduction in its facility footprint of nearly a quarter since 2013. In 2013, Amgen commenced a “company-wide re-engineering process” aimed at transforming its business to prepare for long-term growth. The restructure included significant job cuts and plans to reduce facility footprint by 23%, while ensuring increased bulk production through next-generation biomanufacturing platforms. Five years on, and David Meline, Amgen’s CFO, said the firm has successfully transformed “the business “to achieve…