350 Teesside jobs as Fujifilm Diosynth invests £400m

Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies, a contract development and manufacturing organisation (CDMO) for biologics, viral vaccines and viral vectors, has confirmed a £400 million investment package at its UK facility in Billingham, Teesside.

The investment more than doubles the site’s existing footprint, creating the largest multi-modal biopharmaceutical manufacturing site in the UK — and is expected to create up to 350 highly-skilled jobs.

The new facilities are expected to be operational by late 2023.

“The investment will add a new cell culture facility in the expanded Billingham campus and triple existing cell culture capacity capabilities at the site with the addition of 4×2,000L and 2x500L single use bioreactor production capabilities for the manufacture of both monoclonal and novel antibody treatments,” said the company.

“This expansion will also include the addition of the company’s MaruX GMP continuous manufacturing platform to provide customers with a differentiated connected and integrated production platform offering.

“In addition to the cell culture facility, the new investment package will expand the viral vector and gene therapy services offered by Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies from the UK with dedicated process development capabilities and a commercial-scale viral gene therapy GMP facility, both located on the Billingham campus.

“This expansion will deliver a ten-fold increase in gene therapy production capabilities by Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies in the UK, cementing its leadership in the viral vector market; and complementing its existing global footprint including sites in College Station, Texas and Watertown, Massachusetts, both in the USA.

“The investment will also facilitate the expansion of existing capabilities in vaccine manufacturing, along with new capabilities including mRNA production.”

Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies CEO Martin Meeson said: “We all know that there has never been a more important time to invest in biopharmaceuticals – and £400 million, the largest investment in British biopharmaceutical manufacturing for decades, signals Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies’ intent to be able to offer multi-modal options to respond to our customers’ needs with flexibility and agility to help solve public health demands, and deliver the medicines and vaccines of tomorrow.

“With a strong growing demand for microbial, cell culture and viral gene therapy services, we are adding the capacity and latest technologies within one campus to offer a range of modalities to build an offering that will deliver novel promising treatments to patients for years to come.”