Axis Biotec to begin construction on biopharmaceutical lab and manufacturing facility in Brazil


Axis Biotec Brasil is set to begin construction work on a new biopharmaceutical laboratory and pilot production facility in Rio de Janeiro.

The laboratory and manufacturing facility will support the production of key biosimilar and bio-better protein drugs for the Brazilian market through a joint venture (JV) between Axis Biotec and Canadian biotech firm PlantForm.

Known as PlantPraxis, the new JV will first manufacture a biosimilar version of adalimumab (Humira) for rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory disorders.

Axis Biotec Brasil founder and CEO Eduardo Cruz said: “We’re very pleased to be moving forward with this exciting initiative, which will benefit many of the estimated 13 million people in Brazil who require treatment with monoclonal antibody drugs.

"Brazil is the seventh largest market for pharmaceuticals in the world and construction of the new PlantPraxis facility advances PlantForm’s global strategy for biosimilar drug development."

“We look forward to working with the PlantForm team to continue advancing our plans to make affordable biopharmaceuticals available to millions of Brazilians.”

The construction of the lab and facility will be supported by funding received from Brazilian Funding Agency for Studies and Projects (Finep), which provided a $1m grant to Silvestre Labs, part of the Axis Biotec Brasil group of companies.

PlantForm president and CEO Don Stewart said: “Brazil is the seventh largest market for pharmaceuticals in the world and construction of the new PlantPraxis facility advances PlantForm’s global strategy for biosimilar drug development.”

Construction work on the new facility is expected to be completed by the end of this year and slated to be operational next year.

It will initially focus on the development of adalimumab with several additional biological targets in the pipeline.