Thermo Fisher pumping $270M into its manufacturing sites

Thermo Fisher Scientific says it will invest $270 million in its manufacturing this year as it builds up its operations from one end of the product spectrum to the other. Having closed its $110 million deal for a GlaxoSmithKline API plant in Ireland, the CDMO unit also will open a viral vector plant later this year in the U.S.

In between, the Waltham, Massachusetts-based operation says it is investing in fill-finish operations, distribution in Asia, South America and India and a virtual reality training center in Greenville, North Carolina. 

RELATED: Thermo Fisher shoulders into gene therapy manufacturing with $1.7B deal for Brammer

The €90 million in cash deal for the former GSK site in Cork, Ireland includes 270 cubic meters of reactor capacity, 10 production buildings, an R&D pilot plant and labs, and 400 employees. 

“Together with our colleagues in Cork, we’ll offer access to a fully integrated global network of world-class API facilities with deep experience, enabling us to be an even stronger partner for customers looking to outsource their API development and manufacturing,” Patrick Glaser, president of Thermo Fisher’s drug substance business, said in a statement.   

RELATED: Thermo Fisher expands biologics manufacturing at 3 sites

While it is building up its more prosaic API business, the CDMO also has moved assertively into the new field for cell and gene therapy treatment manufacturing. The viral vector plant opening later this year in Lexington, Massachusetts, is part of the $1.7 billion cash deal that Thermo Fisher pulled off earlier this year for viral vector producer Brammer Bio. The 50,000 square foot plant will have 200 employees.

Thermo Fisher picked up another 600 employees in that deal along with Brammer's production sites in Alachua, Florida and Cambridge, Massachusetts. 

In addition to new kinds of manufacturing technologies, the company is using new methods of training. In August, it opened a new training center in Greenville, North Carolina that uses virtual reality and augmented reality technology that it says will “mimic a real-world operating environment and equipment.” It says the new technology will cut training time in half. It is adding 100 new jobs there.