Fujifilm to acquire manufacturing site from Biogen

Japanese manufacturing giant aims to accelerate the growth of its biologics CDMO business

Fujifilm Corporation has entered into an agreement to acquire Biogen Manufacturing ApS. A Danish company, Biogen is a large-scale biologics manufacturing site located in Hillerød, near Copenhagen. The deal will see Fujifilm pay from US$890 million in cash for the site.

Upon closure of the transaction, Biogen Hillerød will become Fujifilm's fourth biopharmaceutical contract development and manufacturing site. The existing workforce, which consists of approximately 800 employees, will be retained by Fujifilm.

Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies, a contract development and manufacturing organisation (CDMO) with expertise in the development and manufacture of biologics and advanced therapies, is responsible for all of the Fujifilm biopharmaceutical CDMO sites.

Manufacturing capacity

Biogen Hillerød is equipped with 6 x 15000L bioreactors for the manufacture of cell culture-derived biologics. This facility will significantly expand the capacity and capabilities of Fujifilm and provides a line of sight to large production volumes through “scale up”*4, therefore complementing the current “scale out” *4 manufacturing model implemented under its Saturn mAb services.

Fujifilm said this acquisition demonstrates the clear focus the company has to deliver on its strategy to support projects from pre-clinical through to commercialisation "with best in class assets capable of delivering very small to very large production volumes".

Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies currently provides a line of sight to large scale production capacity (20000L) for microbial-derived biologics, through its partnership with MSD, Brinny.

“At Fujifilm, our goal has always been to bring new value to society, through innovation and the creation of new technologies, products and services. We are pleased to contribute to the growing healthcare industry through this investment,” said Shigetaka Komori, chairman and CEO of Fujifilm Corporation. “This significant investment demonstrates our continued commitment to grow the bio CDMO business and become an industry leader by combining resources of Biogen Hillerød and Fujifilm.”

A boost to production

Fujifilm has invested in its bio CDMO business to increase the production capacity and capability of process development at the sites of Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies in the US and UK. The company said it will extend the service of its fill/finish services in the fiscal year ending March 2021 to include cGMP aseptic filling of recombinant proteins for its full-service CDMO approach.

In addition, the company has introduced Apollo X, a next-generation mammalian expression system that is capable of delivering industry-leading titres in excess of 10 g/L.

Fujifilm has expertise in the development and manufacture of a variety of biologics including recombinant proteins, monoclonal antibodies, viral vaccines and gene therapies and it will continue to further expand the business.

This news follows on from multiple strategic acquisitions that Fujifilm has made in recent years to expand and diversify its healthcare portfolio; this was most recently demonstrated by the acquisition of Irvine Scientific, which became a Fujifilm company on 1 June 2018.

The deal with Biogen is expected to be completed near August 2019, subject to customary closing conditions, including the receipt of required regulatory approvals from competition authorities.

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