USA – Fujifilm has announced that it will pay US$100 million for a cell therapy plant from Atara Biotherapeutics.

According to the company, the 90,000-square-foot facility in Thousand Oaks, California, is “readily expandable” and has the flexibility to produce clinical and commercial treatments such as allogenic T-cell and CAR-T immunotherapies.

As part of the agreement, Fujifilm Diosynth, the company’s CDMO arm, will begin a long-term manufacturing agreement to assist in the production of treatments in Atara’s clinical pipeline, which includes tabelecleucel for the treatment of Epstein-Barr virus-positive lymphoproliferative disease following a transplant.

Fujifilm stated that it intends to hire the plant’s current 140 employees. “The team’s collective expertise will support our efforts as a world-class CDMO,” said Fujifilm Diosynth CEO Martin Meeson in a statement.

In June 2018, Atara celebrated the grand opening of the plant. However, two years later, the company collaborated with Bayer on an off-the-shelf T-cell immunotherapy for lung cancers.

Bayer revealed plans for a separate US$200 million cell therapy plant in Berkeley last year.

The new facility will complement a cell therapy manufacturing site in College Station, Texas, and another under construction in Watertown, Massachusetts, for Fujifilm Diosynth.

In addition, the company broke ground three months ago on a massive US$2 billion plant in Holly Springs, North Carolina, which will employ 725 people and be billed as the world’s largest end-to-end biologics production plant.

Fujifilm announced a US$928 million investment in Diosynth’s Hillerod, Denmark, site in June 2020 to double cell culture manufacturing capacity and add drug production lines.

Only a year ago, Fujifilm paid US$890 million to Biogen for the site. Last month, Fujifilm announced a US$300 million investment in the expansion of its College Station facility.

The company intends to hire 150 people as part of the upgrade, which is expected to be completed by 2024 and will make it the “largest single-use CDMO production campus in North America.”

At the same time, Fujifilm Diosynth announced a US$533 million investment in its Teesside, U.K., plant, which will expand the site’s capabilities in biologics, viral gene therapy, mRNA production, and other areas.

Liked this article? Sign up to receive our regular email newsletters, focused on Africa and World’s healthcare industry, directly into your inbox. SUBSCRIBE HERE