Belgium-based CDMO Kaneka Eurogentec, a unit of Japanese chemical giant Kaneka, will build a new biologics manufacturing facility as part of the company’s expansion into large-scale production of biopharmaceuticals.
Construction is expected to begin in the coming months at a site located near Eurogentec’s current production facility in Seraing, Belgium. The plant will be designed for the production and purification of new biomedicines and will include the installation of a 2200 L fermenter, harvest and purification equipment for all expression strategies. The facility will add about 40 new scientific and production positions, the company said.
While the exact cost of the expansion wasn’t disclosed, Pascal Bolon, biologics sales and marketing manager for Kaneka Eurogentec, said in am email that the investment will run into the “tens of millions of Euros.”
“The rapid growth in cell and gene therapy products is driving the need for large batches of plasmid DNA,” Lieven Janssens, EVP at Kaneka Eurogentec, said in a statement. “Our existing pharma and biotech customers have already expressed the need for kilo-scale manufacturing capabilities and we have developed equipment and methods to respond to these needs with the new facility.”
Eurogentec was founded in 1985 as a spin-off company of the University of Liège and was acquired by Kaneka in 2010.
Other Japanese corporations have entered the biologics production market. Earlier this year, AGC Asahi Glass acquired Denmark-based CMC Biologics for $511 million and said it will focus on the U.S. biologics market. Spurred by a declining film business, Fujifilm got into biologics manufacturing in 2011 when it paid a reported $490 million for biologics plants in North Carolina and Northeast England from Merck & Co. and created Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies.