The new €18m ($23m) plant in Guxhagen, Germany is located just a few kilometres away from Sartorius’ previous bioreactor facility in Melsungen, which had been operating at maximum capacity for some time.
Sartorius will employ 180 people in Guxhagen at the 10,000 sqft unit, which it rents under a long-term lease from owner Robos GmbH.
Spokesman Dominic Grone took a few minutes out during a busy inauguration ceremony to tell in-Pharmatechnologist.com that Sartorius has relocated all bioreactor production to the new site and that the Melsungen plant is no longer operational.
In a press release, CEO Joachim Kreuzburg said: “The new plant enables us to substantially enhance our manufacturing processes and creates additional capacity for us in view of the rising demand for biopharmaceutical production equipment. As a result, we are optimally prepared for further expansion, especially for single use bioreactors.”
The move – particularly the decision to increase single-use technology capacity – is in keeping with the growth dynamics of Sartorius business in recent quarters.
According to Sartorius’ financial results for the six months to June 30, 2012 the firm’s bioprocess solutions business – a large part of which is its range of single-use bioreactors – saw revenues increase 21 per cent to €237.4m and order intake increase 12 per cent to €243m. EBITDA increased 21 per cent to €47.6 m.
At the time the firm said that: “This significant growth was primarily driven by the strong demand for single- use products, especially filters and bags.”
Compare this with Sartorius’ lab products and industrial weigh businesses – which contributed revenue of €139m and €51m, respectively, and the importance of adding single-use bioreactor capacity is clear.