Fujifilm To Spend $5Bn To Become Global Contract Drugmaker


Fujifilm Holdings are all set to become the elite service provider of drug development and manufacturing to other companies in the pharmaceutical industry. 

The Japanese company has spent 600 billion yen with the objective to gain a strong foothold in the market. A market that they expect is going to grow at quite a rapid pace in the coming years. The company has planned to increase investment to as much as 90 billion yen. They bet that they can become the answer to the pharmaceutical company, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, which is a specialist computer chip manufacturing designed by others. 

There is a huge trend in the chip manufacturing industry wherein drug makers supposedly farm out a big chunk of their finances. And then, use these finances to specialists for development and manufacturing. 

The wide availability of new treatments like cell therapies, antibody drugs, and gene therapies has made it very tough to develop and market such drugs. Apart from this, manufacturing and developing biopharmaceuticals also requires huge investments. This is why contract developments along with manufacturing organizations (CDMOs) have become so popular. And Fujifilm is all set to walk on the same track as well.

Developing a drug and also bringing it to the consumers’ hands usually takes around 10 years or more. There is also the risk of uncertainty if the operations remain unsuccessful. This is where business economics urges the need for business outsourcing. So, pharmaceutical companies can focus on stuff like drug discovery through lab operations while leaving things like clinical trials, cell line development, and commercial manufacturing to reliable service providers or CDMOs. 

Many senior and experienced analysts predict there is going to be steady growth in the case of biopharmaceutical industry outsourcing. Some pioneer drug makers are extensively selling their manufacturing operations. As more and more pharmaceutical industries are less prioritizing investment in sophisticated production technology. Several market researchers and analysts have forecast a 50% growth in the CDMO market by 2024. 

Although Fujifilm is a bit late to this race, the availability of competitive production technology will surely help them to properly catch up. The company is all set to bring out its new production system which would efficiently work to make high purity antibodies. The production of the high purity antibodies will take place in the Fujifilm U.K. plant. The production system also includes continuously processing and a fully integrated production facility. 

The continuous production by Fujifilm will ensure the availability of a cost-effective alternative for the traditional cell culturing batch. Such activity will not only enhance efficiency but will also ensure consistency in product quality. Due to the continuous production, the required investment in large tanks would also be reduced incredibly. Making the overall costs of production reduced by 30% as well as 70% reduction in the investment required. 

In the near future, Fujifilm aims to increase its CDMO business sales to 200 billion yen. They plan to achieve their goal by the end of March 2025. And also, increase their annual sales to 20%.