Millipore has ramped up capacity for its Mobius range of single use bio-processing and manufacturing technologies with a new purpose built production facility in Danvers, Massachusetts.
The plant, which will also make components for the Mobius FlexReady Solutions line showcased at Interphex in New York in March, takes over from Millipore’s facility in California and is expected to employ a staff of 120 by the end of the year.
Christos Ross, director of the Danvers facility, told in-PharmaTechnologist that the ISO 9001-2008 certified, good manufacturing practice (GMP) standard site has been fully operational since June 9.
Ross explained that it has been designed with growth of the Mobius range in mind and is capable of distributing to manufacturers around the world.
Biopharmaceuticals most attractive sector
Millipore’s VP of downstream processing Paul Chapman told in-PharmaTechnologist that while the Mobius range grew almost 40 per cent last year and is on track to expand even more in 2009, the market is increasingly competitive.
“The current economic situation is driving the trend for more operational flexibility with single-use solutions as biopharmaceutical manufacturers strive to reduce development time, shrink costs associated with conventional manufacturing and mitigate cash burn.”
He added that the range was specifically developed to meet these needs and help biopharma firms “reduce their capital investment while answering their call for flexible manufacturing.”
Chapman also said that: “Biopharmaceuticals are the fastest growing and most attractive category in the industry,” explaining that the number of biotech drugs in development has grown from just 10 per cent on the total pipeline to nearly 25 per cent in he space of a few years.
Eastward shift unlikely for bio-pharmas
Edward Graham-Brown, Millipore’s VP of bioprocess strategic marketing, was also enthusiastic about the biopharmaceuticals sector and its growth potential.
“It’s undeniable that new therapeutic paradigms like cell therapies, DNA vaccines, antibody fragments, will keep emerging and there will be a continued relevance for biotherapeutics in healthcare. “
He also suggested that, unlike small molecule drug manufacture which has tended to be relocated to regions where costs are lower, the complexity of making biotech medicines and investment needed made a similar shift unlikely.
Graham-Brown added that this, coupled with the industry’s efforts to reduce its manufacturing foot print in North America, should mean that demand for validated production bio processes continues to grow.