Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies has completed the first phase of a £3m ($4.5m) investment in new equipment and laboratories at its Billingham, UK site.

This expansion reinforces the commitment to lead the global Biologics CMO industry through continuous innovation and implementation of new technologies, service delivery and quality, as announced by Japan-based parent company, FUJIFILM Corporation.

The investment includes a complete refurbishment of its microbial fermentation laboratory, which has been totally refitted, including eight new in-situ sterilisable 20l Sartorius Stedim Biotech fermenters, as well as a number of fully-instrumented DASGIP parallel bench-top high-throughput units.

In addition, a new suite of research and development laboratories has been installed for process development work, with a corresponding increase in the company’s R&D workforce by 50 to over 150 in the last 12 months to support its growing business. The company expects to add to this further over the coming year at both its Billingham and North Carolina sites.

Mark Carver, PhD, senior vice president research, development and innovation said: "This investment is in response to our growing innovation activity and to increasing demand from customers for our expertise fast-track development of cost-effective processes for the manufacture of biologics.

"We are committed to continue to develop leading technology which will deliver benefits to our customers and their patients."