High-flying Fujifilm splashes $200M to beef up cell therapy capacity

Fujifilm Corporation is spreading the wealth across two production units as the contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) juggernaut works through a cell therapy expansion.

The parent company is splitting $200 million between a pair of subsidiaries: Fujifilm Cellular Dynamics, which specializes in development and manufacturing of human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC), and the organization’s CDMO for biologics and advanced therapies, Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies.

At Fujifilm Cellular Dynamics, a portion of the earmarked sum will go toward a new 175,000-square-foot headquarters in Madison, Wisconsin, Fujifilm Corporation said in a press release Monday.

In addition, Fujifilm Diosynth will use funds to expand an existing site in Thousand Oaks, California, where it plans to install a new development lab and two fresh manufacturing clean rooms.

The joint investment is expected to help Fujifilm keep pace with the expanding cell therapy market, which the Japanese conglomerate predicts will grow by more than 30% annually from $3.3 billion last year.

Fujifilm Diosynth has had an eventful 2023. In June, the CDMO tapped a new chief executive officer in company veteran Lars Petersen. Petersen, who previously held the role of chief operating officer at Diosynth’s site in Hillerød, Denmark, took over for Martin Meeson, who’d held the reins at the contract manufacturer since 2020.

Petersen is now overseeing Fujifilm Diosynth on its mission to hit 200 billion yen ($1.4 billion) in annual sales by the fiscal year ending in March 2025.

Shortly after Petersen ascended the throne, Fujifilm Diosynth laid out a new business structure to support customers of varying sizes, unveiling new leadership for large- and small-scale strategic business units spread across the United States, the United Kingdom and Europe.

The company's Thousand Oaks expansion is expected to significantly boost production capacity for new projects, the CDMO’s parent company said in its Monday release. The added capacity is set to come online in early 2025.

Fujifilm Diosynth is also getting ready to cut the ribbon on a massive biomanufacturing facility in North Carolina. Early last month, the CDMO said it had already booked its first client there in Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Supply Group. The NC facility, under construction in Holly Springs, is expected to kick off operations in full in 2025.