Fujifilm socks $2B into new U.S. site as its global CDMO ambitions take shape

Seeking to dramatically bolster its position in the contract development and manufacturing business, Fujifilm is investing $2 billion on a large cell culture production site in the U.S.

The site will feature eight 20,000 liter bioreactors and have the potential for another 24 bioreactors depending on future market demand. Fujifilm plans to offer drug substance manufacturing and fill and finish services, plus packaging and labeling at the site. 

Fujifilm's subsidiary Diosynth Biotechnologies will operate the facility. The company plans to expand at an existing location in the U.S., and it expects to start operating its new facility in the spring of 2025. Fujifilm is still in conversations about the exact location, a spokeswoman said, noting that the company has sites in more than 25 states.

RELATED: Fujifilm triples down on viral vector manufacturing with new $40M Boston site 

The move comes amid a push by the drugmaker to expand operations across its various contract development and manufacturing sites. Back in June, the company pledged a $928 million investment at its site in Hillerød, Denmark, to double its cell culture manufacturing capacity and add drug product manufacturing services. The company scooped up the former Biogen site for $890 million in 2019, and the expansion is set to finish by 2023.

Further, just this week, the company unveiled a $40 million investment for a new manufacturing facility for viral vectors in Watertown, Massachusetts. The facility will be Fujifilm’s third viral-vector manufacturing site after the drugmaker opened similar plants in Texas and the U.K. 

Fujifilm aims to grow its Bio CDMO business to $2 billion in revenues per year by its fiscal year that ends in March 2025, and it expects 20% annual growth afterward, the company said.

RELATED: Eli Lilly taps Fujifilm to chip in on COVID-19 antibody manufacturing as it awaits FDA's emergency use decision 

Amid its push to grow the business, the company has partnered with some high-profile players in the fight against COVID-19. Fujifilm has signed on to help Eli Lilly produce its coronavirus antibody, which scored an emergency use authorization in November. And it's helping Novavax produce supplies for its vaccine candidate, which is in phase 3 testing.