J&J books manufacturing space at Fujifilm Diosynth's upcoming mega-plant in North Carolina

With a year and change still left before Fujifilm Diosynth cuts the ribbon on a massive biomanufacturing facility in North Carolina, the CDMO has already lined up its first client.

Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Supply Group has booked a large-scale manufacturing suite at Fujifilm’s upcoming Holly Springs, North Carolina, plant, which is expected to kick off operations in full in 2025.

The long-term deal for manufacturing space marks an extension of an existing relationship between Fujifilm and Janssen. The production space will be used to support production of the latter company’s clinical and commercial pipeline, Fujifilm said in a Tuesday release.

Fujifilm started work on the $2 billion facility back in 2021, laying plans to construct what it billed at the time as the largest end-to-end biologics production plant in the world. The facility is expected to employ around 725 employees.

The mega-plant, which is located in the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill Research Triangle, will allow Fujifilm to crank out antibodies and other therapeutics at a massive scale. At the time the facility was unveiled, Fujifilm said the plant would come equipped with eight 20,000-liter bioreactors with capacity to add a staggering 24 more.

The facility is also being designed to perform automated fill-finish services, assembly, packaging and labeling, the company has said.

Fujifilm Diosynth has been on something of an expansion roll. Beyond North Carolina, the company in June unveiled a $1.6 billion investment to expand cell culture manufacturing services at sites in Denmark and Texas.

Specifically, Fujifilm Diosynth is adding eight 20,000-liter bioreactors and two downstream processing streams to its Denmark site, making it the largest end-to-end CDMO in Europe. While not quite as big as the planned North Carolina mega-plant, the Hillerød, Denmark, facility will eventually feature 20 20,000-liter bioreactors for drug substance production plus drug product and finished good services.

At the Texas site, the company's investment will expand its cell culture manufacturing capabilities and enable continuous processing.

Meanwhile, at the top of the year, Fujifilm said it was buying a cell therapy plant from Atara Biotherapeutics for $100 million. The 90,000-square-foot facility in Thousand Oaks, California, is “readily expandable,” according to the company, and has the flexibility to produce clinical and commercial treatments including allogenic T-cell and CAR-T immunotherapies.