Home Active Agrochemical IngredientAgrochemicals Fujifilm, with $100M Cell Therapy plant buy from Atara

Fujifilm, with $100M Cell Therapy plant buy from Atara

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Fujifilm Diosynth

Summary :

On his company’s recent spending spree to build manufacturing capacity, Fujifilm Diosynth CEO Martin Meeson said three months ago: “We’re spending this much because we need this much capability to support our partners with the projects they’ve got.” (Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies)

On Wednesday, the company revealed it will acquire a cell therapy plant from Atara Biotherapeutics for $100 million. The 90,000-square-foot facility in Thousand Oaks, California is “readily expandable,” according to the company, and has the flexibility to produce clinical and commercial treatments, including allogenic T-cell and CAR-T immunotherapies.

As part of the deal, the company’s CDMO arm, Fujifilm Diosynth, will begin a long-term manufacturing agreement to help produce treatments in Atara’s clinical pipeline, which includes tabelecleucel for the treatment of Epstein-Barr virus-positive lymphoproliferative disease following a transplant.

Fujifilm said it plans to offer positions to the plant’s current 140 employees. “The collective expertise of the team will further support our efforts as a world-class CDMO,” Fujifilm Diosynth CEO Martin Meeson said in a statement.

Fujifilm Diosynth

Fujifilm Diosynth

It was with some fanfare that Atara opened the plant in June 2018. But two years later, the company teamed up with Bayer to work on an off-the-shelf T-cell immunotherapy for lung cancers. Last year, Bayer revealed plans for a separate, $200 million cell therapy plant in Berkeley.

“We believe that now is the right time for a strategic relationship with Fujifilm to give us access to the expert manufacturing capability Atara will require, when needed,” said Atara CEO Pascal Touchon. “We will now confidently further focus our capital resources on development and commercialization of our pipeline of first-in-kind therapeutics for severe diseases.”

For Fujifilm Diosynth, the new facility will complement a cell therapy manufacturing site in College Station, Texas, and another under construction in Watertown, Massachusetts. The company also broke ground three months ago on a massive $2 billion plant in Holly Springs, N.C., which will employ 725 staffers and is being billed as the largest end-to-end biologics production plant in the world.

“We’re spending this much because we need this much capability to support our partners with the projects they’ve got,” Meeson told Fierce Pharma at the time.

In June 2020, Fujifilm pledged a $928 million investment at Diosynth’s site in Hillerod, Denmark, to double its cell culture manufacturing capacity and add drug production lines. Just a year earlier, Fujifilm acquired the site from Biogen for $890 million.

And last month, Fujifilm said it was pouring $300 million into expansion of its College Station site. The company plans to add 150 employees as part of the upgrade slated for completion by 2024, which will make it the “largest single-use CDMO production campus in North America.”

At the same time, Fujifilm Diosynth detailed its plan to invest $533 million in its plant in Teesside, U.K., which will grow the site’s capabilities in biologics, viral gene therapy, mRNA production and more.

Fujifilm Diosynth

Diosynth, or Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies (FDB), is a company that develops and offers manufacturing processes for active ingredients for pharmaceutical companies. In March 2020, Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies named Martin Meeson the company’s new CEO. He will be taking over from Steve Bagshaw who is set to retire and become a non-executive chairman.

Subject to regulatory approval, at least 60 million doses of the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine will be manufactured for the UK government from 2021 by Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies at its Billingham site

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