Featured Photo (above): Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies plans to expand its existing gene therapy manufacturing facility in College Station and build a new gene therapy innovation center on a nearby property. Image: Brazos Valley EDC
By Edmond Ortiz
College Station (Brazos County)—Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies (FDB), a biologics contract development and manufacturing organization, announced in November it would spend $55 million to develop a 60,000-square-foot gene therapy innovation center adjacent to FDB’s existing cGMP gene therapy manufacturing facility in College Station.
According to a company press release, the new facility will be operational in Fall 2021. It’s part of Fujifilm Corp.’s $120 million capital investment in the gene therapy field.
FDB’s main goals behind this new strategy are to provide leading, future proofed end-to-end gene therapy solutions, from pre-clinical to commercial launch, the news release states. This follows an earlier announcement made by FDB to introduce its gene therapy fill finish services.
“We expect to break ground in the first quarter of 2020,” Gerry Farrell, COO at Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies, Texas, said in the release. “This new facility will triple our gene therapy development capabilities and will add approximately 100 jobs to our Texas campus.”
Fujifilm also said it will expand its current manufacturing facility, with new clean rooms and eight new 500-liter to 2,000-liter single-use bioreactors. This facility is located in College Station’s expanding biomedical corridor west of Easterwood Airport.
The first stage of the expansion for the existing manufacturing facility will be complete by Spring 2021, Fujifilm officials have said.
FDB began operations in the Brazos Valley in 2014 after acquiring Kalon Biotherapeutics, a biopharmaceutical contract manufacturing organization founded by the Texas A&M University System in 2011.
This facility offered manufacturing capabilities not found at the company’s other sites in North Carolina and the United Kingdom. Additionally, the College Station site provided the chance to partner with the Texas A&M University System and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), a federal agency overseeing the manufacture of vaccines and medical counter measure products.