France-based pharmaceutical company Sanofi is expanding its biologics plant in Geel, Belgium, to add to its manufacturing and commercial production capabilities.
The $340m expansion will install manufacturing, production and laboratory space at the existing plant. It will support the need for increased production of Sanofi’s pipeline products and increase the capacity for future production.
Construction on the expansion is expected to start in 2016 and the plant is due to 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 for highly skilled biotechnology professionals.
According to Sanofi, the plant will introduce biologics, pairing technologies, cutting-edge manufacturing and operation capabilities, as well as high-quality products to enhance patient outcomes, once operational.
Sanofi and Sanofi Genzyme have invested around $870m in the Geel site since 2001. The latest investment will help Sanofi in its efforts to become a global leader in biologics while also improving its focus on patients’ needs.
Details of the Sanofi biologics plant expansion in Geel
The expansion involves building a state-of-the-art facility that will add 8,000m² (86,111ft²) of manufacturing space for increasing Sanofi’s capacity for producing monoclonal antibodies.
It also involves upgrading existing facilities such as quality control and manufacturing sciences laboratories to ensure qualitative and quantitative production.
The fully equipped existing plant, covering a 4,000m² (43,055ft²) floor space, will produce a monoclonal antibody and protein therapy product for the treatment of B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukaemia and Pompe disease respectively. Therapeutic proteins will be produced at the facility using large bioreactors, preparation tanks and purification trains.
The facility is involved in 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, a seed train and a purification tank.
The proposed expansion will allow Sanofi to expand the global production of its biologics molecules and monoclonal antibodies, as well as helping to advance developments in critical disease areas such as cardiovascular, rheumatoid arthritis and atopic dermatitis.
Marketing commentary on Sanofi
Sanofi is a global healthcare company providing prevention and treatment solutions in various fields such as human vaccines, rare diseases, multiple sclerosis, oncology, immunology, infectious diseases, diabetes, cardiovascular solutions and consumer healthcare.
Based in Paris, France, the company has a presence in more than 100 countries and operates industrial sites in more than 40 countries, employing around 110,000 personnel in total.