Sanofi Biologics Plant Expansion, Geel, Belgium


Sanofi, a global healthcare leader based in France, is expanding its biologics plant in Belgium, to further develop its manufacturing and commercial production capabilities.

The $340m expansion will add new manufacturing, production and laboratory space to the existing plant. It will support the need for increased production of Sanofi's pipeline products and increase the capacity for future products.

Construction on the expansion is expected to start in 2016 and the plant will be fully operational by mid-2017.

"Construction on the expansion is expected to start in 2016 and the plant will be fully operational by mid-2017."

The proposed expansion is supported by the Government of Flanders, the Flanders Investment and Trade, and the Flanders Entrepreneurship Agency. It will generate job opportunities to the highly skilled biotechnology professionals.

Once operational, the plant will introduce biologics, pairing technologies, cutting-edge manufacturing and operation capabilities, as well as high-quality products to enhance patient outcomes, says Sanofi.

Sanofi and Sanofi Genzyme have invested approximately $870m on their Geel site since 2001, and the new investment will aid Sanofi to become a global leader in biologics, while also improving its focus on patients' needs.

Details of Sanofi biologics plant expansion

The expansion includes construction of the new state-of-the-art facility that will add 8,000m² (86,111ft²) of manufacturing space for increasing the production capabilities of Sanofi's pipeline of monoclonal antibodies.

It also involves upgrading the existing facilities such as new quality control and manufacturing sciences laboratories to ensure the qualitative and quantitative production.

The fully equipped existing plant occupies a floor space of 4,000m² (43,055ft²). It will produce an monoclonal antibody and a protein therapy product for the treatment of B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukaemia and Pompe diease, respectively. The therapeutic proteins in the facility will be produced using large bioreactors, preparation tanks and purification trains.

The facility is involved in the suspension and continuous mammalian cell culture production. The suspension cell culture unit contains two 10,000l stirred tank bioreactors, seed bioreactors, buffer/medium preparation tanks and a purification train.

The perfusion cell culture unit contains three 4,000l bioreactors, seed train and a purification tank.

The proposed expansion will enable Sanofi to expand its global production of its biologics molecules and monoclonal antibodies and will also help advance the development in critical disease areas such as cardiovascular, rheumatoid arthritis and atopic dermatitis.

Marketing commentary

Sanofi is a global healthcare company providing prevention and treatment solutions in varied fields such as human vaccines, rare diseases, multiple sclerosis, oncology, immunology, infectious diseases, diabetes, cardiovascular solutions and consumer healthcare.

Headquartered in Paris, France, the company has presence in more than 100 countries and operates industrial sites in more than 40 countries, employing approximately 110,000 personnel.