DSM sets June launch for Australian biologics plant

Royal DSM in June will open a new biologics plant in Brisbane, the first custom mammalian-based biopharmaceutical manufacturing facility in Australia.

The $65 million plant is a pet project of Australia's $345 million Translational Research Institute, which is being built to attract medical research to Australia. The Dutch company has gotten support from the governments of Queensland and the Commonwealth to build the plant.

Karen King, president of DSM Biologics, the custom manufacturing business of Royal DSM, said in a press release that the company is combining its 25 years of experience in mammalian cell culture manufacturing "with a state-of-the-art commercial and development facility." David Hughes, CEO of BioPharmaceuticals Australia, said, "The opening of this facility satisfies a national capability gap."

DSM already has a customer lined up for the new facility. In October, DSM said it had landed a deal for process development and manufacture of the lead recombinant human protein from Paranta Biosciences of Melbourne, Australia, and that much of the work would be handled through the Brisbane facility, a project it refers to as its "blueprint for the biologics plant of the future." DSM already has an R&D facility and biologics manufacturing operation in Groningen, Netherlands.

Last year, DSM's joint venture with vaccinemaker Crucell for developing biosimilars collapsed after the two partners couldn't agree on further investments in the company.

- here's the release