Fujifilm invests $30mn to double bioreactor capacity expansion in U.S.

Japan’s Fujifilm Corporation, has made it to the headlines this week for its proposed investment of around JPY 3.2 billion (approximately USD 30 million) across two sites in the United States and the United Kingdom. Reportedly, Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies’s mAB (monoclonal antibody) production facility at College Station, Texas, is slated to receive around JPY 2.2 billion to increase the production capacity at the site. Additionally, the investment would help double the bioreactor capacity expansion at the site, thereby augmenting the regional bioreactor market, cite experts.

Fujifilm’s current USD 30 million investment comes along the heels of its prior investment of JPY 14 billion in April, when the company declared that it would be providing a financial backing of USD 125 million across two geographies. As per reports, this investment had been made in the company’s biologics CDMO (contract development & manufacturing) business unit in a bid to increase its production capacity level in the U.S., while simultaneously aiming to construct a process development facility in UK. The latter, cite sources, is located at Wilton, UK, and is likely to receive a funding of JPY 1 billion in order to expand the site by around 900 square meters. For the record, Fujifilm had added the site at the United Kingdom and the North Carolina facility from the pharma behemoth, Merck & Co.

Fujifilm’s additional investments come as a respite in bioreactor industry, even as pharma companies strive to fulfill the demands of their consumers. Fujifilm’s spokesperson, Kana Matsumoto, was quoted stating that the company makes investments in UK and U.S. to fulfill the CDMO demands of monoclonal antibodies that have been increasing among biopharmaceuticals. Quoting Matsumoto, the company’s existing mammalian cell culture capacity is around 9,000L, however, it is likely to rise up to 15,000L by 2018. Additionally, three 2,000L capacity, single-use bioreactors would be added at the Texas facility, pushing the growth potential of bioreactor market further, state analysts.

For the record, Fujifilm aims to accomplish sales worth JPY 100 billion from its CDMO business by the end of 2024.