German CDMO Rentschler expands biologics production capacity

Syringes and swab

German CDMO Rentschler Biotechnologie has added a new facility to its site in Laupheim, expanding its biologics capacity for the second time in a year. The company expects to add 200 jobs with the move.

The company said that it invested €24 million to add a facility with two 3,000-litre stainless steel bioreactors, more than doubling its capacity. It said that the bioreactors can be operated in parallel or staggered. They will share a downstream processing unit, which the company said will allow it to increase production while reducing costs. Rentschler said it managed to get the project completed three months ahead of schedule.

"The growing demand for biopharmaceuticals and the rising number of drug candidates in clinical development was recognized by Rentschler early on,” Frank Mathias, who became CEO in April, said in a statement. “For this reason, the company has been strategically expanding its manufacturing capacity, most recently in 2015.

Last year the German company installed a 2,000L single-use bioreactor at the site. With the expansion and anticipated growth in business, the company said it will need to hire up to 200 new employees.

With biologic drugs comprising an ever growing percent of drugmakers’ pipelines, contract manufacturers are muscling up in that category to keep pace. Last month, Somerset, NJ-based CDMO Catalent ($CTLT) said it was “aggressively growing organically” in biologics, investing $34 million in a biologics plant in Madison, WI that it opened several years ago. That outlay will add a 2/2,000-liter single-use bioreactor system, which will be capable of running either 2,000-liter or 4,000-liter batches to support late-phase clinical and commercial production.

- here’s the Rentschler release  

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