In June 2018, Chinese biopharmaceutical company WuXi Biologics announced the development of a production facility in Worcester, Massachusetts.
The company plans to build the state-of-the-art clinical and commercial manufacturing facility with a $60m investment. It will be WuXi Biologics’ eleventh global drug substance manufacturing facility, its first overseas facility in the US and its third outside China (after Ireland and Singapore).
The facility’s development is part of WuXi Biologics’ global expansion strategy. The site is expected to play a vital role in supporting the company’s global biomanufacturing network, ensuring high-quality manufacturing of biologics for the benefit of patients worldwide.
WuXi Biologics is expected to hire around 150 people at the facility.
Location of WuXi Biologics’ production facility
The production facility will be located in the Worcester Biomanufacturing Park at the site of the former Worcester State Hospital.
The Worcester Business Development Corporation (WBDC) has been reviving the area to increase biomanufacturing in the city, which began five years ago.
Wuxi Biologics will be the biomanufacturing park’s first tenant, and several of its partners are situated near the new site.
The WBDC plans to develop Worcester into a hub for biologic material manufacturing companies by demolishing old buildings and restoring roads.
Details of WuXi Biologics’ greenfield production facility
The production facility will span an area of up to 100,000ft² in size, including the installation of single-use bioreactors.
The facility will be equipped with a 4,500l bioreactor, two 2,000l conventional fed-batch cell cultures and one 500l perfusion-based continuous processing cell culture. An early-stage bioprocess development lab will also be incorporated.
The plant will be capable of handling continuous bioprocessing, a state-of-the-art manufacturing technology planned to be installed by WuXi Biologics for the first time in the US. The technology will be able to handle both clinical and small-volume commercial production.
Financing for WuXi Biologics’ new biologics facility
The facility is supported by the Government of Massachusetts, the WBDC and the Massachusetts Life Sciences Centre (MLSC).
WuXi Biologics is expected to receive more than $18m in state and local financial incentives, including a $5m state grant to a government agency in Worcester to develop the site for the facility and infrastructure such as roads in the property.
WBDC has leased the land to WuXi Biologics under an agreement that includes a rent abatement provision for five years. WuXi also expects to receive $1m in property tax relief from the City of Worcester.
Funding of $1m from the state is expected for more than four years to aid workforce training. A $2.5m loan will be provided by the Massachusetts Development Finance Corporation to support furnishing and equip the building.
The local government also plans to provide a $7.5m personal property tax exemption. A tax waiver of up to $1m and a $1.5m district improvement financing deal have also been proposed.
Marketing commentary on WuXi Biologics
WuXi Biologics is a global biologics service provider based in China. Founded in 2014, the company is a subsidiary of WuXi App Tec.
In China, the company operates in Wuxi, Shanghai and Suzhou.
WuXi Biologics offers comprehensive, integrated and customisable services and solutions for pharmaceutical and biotechnological companies worldwide. It assists companies in the discovery, development and manufacturing of biologics.