FUJIFILM Corporation and The Massachusetts Center for Advanced Biological Innovation and Manufacturing (CABIM), announced that it has secured 76 million USD in financing and signed a lease for a 40,000 square-foot site in Watertown, Massachusetts at The Arsenal on the Charles, owned and operated by Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. The Center will advance research and development in cell and gene therapy, gene editing, immunotherapy, and biotechnology. FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies, the Bio CDMO* subsidiary of FUJIFILM Corporation, will provide GMP** contract process development and manufacturing services as part of its role in the new manufacturing and innovation center.
Previously announced in November 2019, CABIM aims to help new therapeutics, medicines, and technologies reach patients faster and strengthen Greater Boston’s position as the world’s life science capitol. The industry-academia research and development consortium was established with an equal investment each from Fujifilm, Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cytiva (formerly part of GE Healthcare Life Sciences), and Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. to shorten the path to implementation of therapies, and to accelerate the practical application and commercialization of these therapies. The consortium will work with other collaborators including Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston Children’s Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Massachusetts General Hospital, and MilliporeSigma.
The manufacturing facility is planning for eight cleanrooms, with a configuration that will produce both cell and viral vector products within its physical space. The site will also offer quality control, lab, office, and convening space to facilitate collaboration between the region’s academia, industries and hospitals. The Center will also focus on developing a pipeline of talent in the field of biopharmaceutical manufacturing to expand Greater Boston’s base of specialized workers, offering training and curricula to emerging professionals.
“Fujifilm is pleased to partner with leading academia, industry, and teaching hospitals, to explore the application of genetically modified cell therapies, and bring new treatment options to the market,” said Takatoshi Ishikawa, senior executive vice president and chief life science officer, FUJIFILM Corporation. “This collaboration supports our larger healthcare strategy to utilize the combined strength of the Fujifilm Group’s products and services to offer personalized life-altering treatment options to clinicians and their patients.”
The initial 76 million USD fundraising round will contribute to the build of the space, support 40 full-time employees, and will maintain the Center’s daily operations. The Center will commence operations in early 2022.
On January 4, FUJIFILM Corporation announced a new, separate state-of-the-art 40 million USD viral vector and advanced therapy facility in the greater-Boston area. Additionally, as FUJIFILM Corporation has announced previously, the company continues to invest in growing its CDMO business across several modalities including microbial and most recently, in cell culture, with a capital investment of more than 2 billion USD to build a large-scale cell culture manufacturing facility in the U.S. The new facilities will be operated by FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies.