Biologics Continue to Grow and Create Outsourcing Opportunities

Published on: 
BioPharm International, BioPharm International-09-01-2019, Volume 32, Issue 9
Pages: 12–14

CDMOs are adding facilities and services to their portfolios in anticipation of the biologics industry’s continued growth.

The growth of the biologics industry has created expansion in the contract development and manufacturing (CDMO) space. Liza M. Rivera, senior director, global marketing, at Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies (FDB), says biologics have seen success especially in the treatment of cancer and autoimmune diseases. The following highlights some of the latest news from CDMOs in the biomanufacturing space.

New facilities and services

CDMOs are adding facilities and services to their portfolios in anticipation of the industry’s continued growth. Fujifilm is one of the companies making significant investments in their biomanufacturing offerings. “In recent years, we have prioritized the expansion of our production facilities, principally 2000-L medium-sized tanks, in response to the rapid increase in production demand for biologics,” Rivera says.

“As outlined in our medium-term management plan, VISION2019, with fiscal year ending in March 2020, we set our sights on enhancing the growth of our healthcare business. To meet this goal, we have actively made capital investments in our bio-CDMO business, achieving double-digit growth in sales, exceeding market growth.  Going forward, we intend to continue to promote growth along these lines, expanding the bio-CDMO business as the growth driver for the healthcare area,” says Rivera.

In March 2019, Fujifilm acquired a large-scale biologics manufacturing facility in Hillerød, Denmark from Biogen as part of their goal of expanding its global business. The facility allows for the support of high-volume production of biologics that requires large-scale culture tanks and is equipped with six 15,000-L bioreactors. The facility also houses an assembly, labeling, and packaging facility; quality control laboratories; and warehouses. “Most importantly, the nearly 800 women and men of the Hillerød facility will contribute their world-class cGMP [current good manufacturing practice] manufacturing capabilities to FDB’s existing leadership bio-CDMO, immediately strengthening our overarching goal to advance tomorrow’s medicines and guarantee distribution of their lifesaving properties to all who need them,” Rivera says.  

HALIX, which specializes in clinical and commercial proteins and viral products, completed its new cGMP manufacturing facility in Leiden Bio Science Park in the Netherlands in August. The 6700-sq-m facility will be used for the development and production of biopharmaceutical drug substances. The facility contains a manufacturing line for viral vaccines and viral vectors in addition to a separate protein manufacturing area with a capacity of up to 1000-L single-use bioreactors. Lab space is also available for process development, analytical development, and quality control. All cleanroom areas have a unidirectional process flow and are designed to allow commercial manufacturing of biopharmaceutical products (1).

“This new facility offers our current and future clients’ capacity and flexibility for future expansion and will allow for cGMP manufacturing solutions for viral products, proteins, gene therapy, and client-specific new technologies,” said Roland Hecht, HALIX chief customer officer, in a company press release.

Sartorius Stedim Biotech (SSB), a supplier of biopharmaceutical manufacturing products and services, is now offering GMP mammalian cell bank manufacture, the company announced on Aug. 8, 2019. The services will be offered through its subsidiary, Sartorius Stedim BioOutsource, a contract testing organization based in Glasgow, United Kingdom, and in Cambridge, MA, in the United States (2).

The services will feature the manufacture of GMP master and working cell banks for mammalian suspension cells, which will be conducted in a 260-sq.-m. GMP cleanroom dedicated to mammalian suspension cell lines. The facility enables closed-system manufacture of GMP-compliant cell banks, from vial thaw to automated filling, as a qualified broth technology platform. The company expects this platform to maximize process reliability and assurance of sterility.


SSB offers its cell bank manufacturing in a package along with cell bank characterization services, making the company a single-source provider from vial thaw to released cell banks.

With these new services, the company can offer combined cell-line development, cell bank manufacturing, and cell bank characterization and provide biomanufacturing solutions from DNA to released GMP cell bank within a 10-month timeline.

Mergers and acquisitions

In August 2019, Eurofins Genomics completed its acquisition of Blue Heron Biotech, a Bothell, WA-based gene synthesis company. The deal bolsters Blue Heron’s production capabilities while expanding Eurofins Genomics’ gene portfolio into cloning and complex gene constructs, according to the company. The acquisition also strengthens Eurofins Genomics’ product portfolio in the synthetic biology market (3).

The companies share similar main product segments including oligonucleotides, sequencing, and synthetic genes. Eurofins Genomics’ product offerings include oligonucleotide synthesis, Sanger sequencing, next-generation sequencing, and gene synthesis. With the acquisition, the company can now provide holistic solutions to customers, including regulatory coverage for its products-ISO 13485, ISO 9001, CLIA, CAP, good laboratory practice, and FDA compliance-for the manufacturing of cGMP oligonucleotides used in analyte-specific reagent and in-vitro diagnostic products for the clinical industry.


1.  Halix, “New cGMP facility starting operational production in Q4-2019,” Press Release, Aug. 9, 2019.

2. Sartorius, “Sartorius Stedim Biotech Launches New Services for Mammalian Cell Bank Manufacturing,” Press Release, Aug. 8, 2019.

3. Eurofins, “Eurofins Genomics US Expands Gene Synthesis Capabilities with Acquisition of Blue Heron Biotech,” Press Release, Aug. 5, 2019

Article Details

BioPharm International
Vol. 32, No. 9
September 2019
Pages: 12–14


When referring to this article, please cite it as S. Haigney, "Biologics Continue to Grow and Create Outsourcing Opportunities," BioPharm International 32 (9) 2019.