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Fujifilm Logo Photograph Diosynth Biotechnology Fujifilm Corp © Andreistanescu Dreamstime

Fujifilm Announces New $2 Billion Medical Plant in North Carolina

March 19, 2021
The Japanese conglomerate said the plant would create 725 jobs in the area.

Fujifilm corporation, perhaps best known in the U.S. for its film and photography products, announced a new factory for producing biopharmaceutical medicines would be located in Holly Springs, North Carolina. The site will cost more than $2 billion and create 725 new jobs in the area when it becomes operational in Spring 2025.

The plant will be operated by Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies, a contract development and manufacturing company or CDMO, which provides other pharmaceutical companies services on a contract basis, including drug development, analysis, and cell culture manufacturing. According to Diosynth CEO Martin Meeson, the plant will be “the largest end-to-end cell culture CDMO facility in North America” once it’s finished.

“We are passionate about the tremendous value that this new facility will bring to our partners in producing life-impacting therapies,” said Meeson; “This is building for the future, both in infrastructure and in talent, as part of the vibrant North Carolina biotech hub.”

Fujifilm says that the Holly Springs plant will include a new “state-of-the-art” large-scale cell culture manufacturing facility, as well as eight 20,000 liter bioreactors, which pharmaceutical companies use to grow organisms like bacteria or other cells under controlled conditions, and room for up to 24 more depending on market demand. The factory will also feature automated fill-finish and assembly, packaging, and labelling services.

In a statement, Fujifilm Corp. President Kenji Sukeno said Holly Springs holds “strategic importance” in accelerating Diosynth Biotechnology’s growth, and also said he was “very appreciative” of the support the company has received from the state of North Carolina. Fujifilm Diosynth already operates one 600-employee factory in North Carolina in Research Triangle Park, which has been operational since 1996.

According to the governor’s office, the new plant will be supported by a Job Development Investment Grant that will reimburse the company up to $19.7 million over 12 years, as well as a grant of $2 million from the state’s One North Carolina Fund.

Sustainability, Fujifilm says, is also a goal in the construction and location of the factory. “Holly Springs is a suitable location for us, as it is one of the most active communities in the U.S. in addressing environmental and social issues,” said Sukeno. Fujifilm, which has set a corporate goal to reduce its carbon dioxide output by 45% between 2014 and 2031, says the new factory will use clean energy sources and “cutting-edge” waste disposal technology.

“Today’s decision shows once again that North Carolina is a world-class location for the most innovative biotech companies in the industry,” said North Carolina governor Roy Cooper.

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