FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies to double Holly Springs biomanufacturing campus

FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies, a global contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO), plans to invest $1.2 billion to double the size of its manufacturing facility currently under construction in Holly Springs.

When completed, the site will be the largest end-to-end cell culture CDMO facility in North America, housing state-of-the-art biopharmaceutical manufacturing equipment and technology, including two large manufacturing suites for large-scale monoclonal antibody drug substance and drug product manufacturing. 

“We truly appreciate our longstanding relationship with the state of North Carolina,” said Lars Petersen, president and CEO, FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies. “We’re proud to contribute to the North Carolina life sciences hub.

"North Carolina is a great place for the life sciences,” Petersen said.

This expansion of the Holly Springs campus will include hiring an additional 680 high-paying new jobs in engineering, manufacturing, administration, and quality assurance and control, the company said.FDB

Company officials, along with North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, and state and local economic development officials made the announcement at an event at the North Carolina Museum of History in downtown Raleigh on April 11, 2024. 

“The new jobs created by the expansion of FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies in Wake County is yet another example of the thriving economic relationship between North Carolina and Japan, and we are grateful for their continuing investments in our state,” Cooper said. “Japanese companies continue to provide good-paying jobs and economic opportunity for people across North Carolina.”

The NC Department of Commerce’s Economic Investment Committee (EIC) approved a Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) worth nearly $15 million, to be paid over 12 years. In addition, the North Carolina Community College System will provide $1.7 million in customized training support, and the Commerce Department’s Division of Workforce Solutions will provide $1.3 million in support. Local incentives include $30.6 million from Wake County and $23.7 million from Holly Springs.

The EIC said the company’s expansion would increase the state’s GDP (gross domestic product) by $4.76 billion over the 12-year span of the JGID. The average wage for the new jobs created is $109,923. Currently the average annual wage in Wake County is $74,866.

“FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies is a globally recognized powerhouse in the life sciences industry,” said North Carolina Commerce Secretary Machelle Baker Sanders. “I am beyond excited for our community, our life sciences ecosystem, and our world-class workforce to grow alongside the company as we continue to create innovative, high-quality medicine together.”

State officials said the company considered sites in Singapore, California and Denmark, before deciding to expand the Holly Springs facility. 

Partnering in Holly Springs

In March 2021, FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies first announced that Holly Springs had been selected for the location of the company’s $2 billion, 725-employee biomanufacturing facility. At the time, it was the largest single life sciences investment in the state's more than four decades of growing the sector. 

In November 2023, the company announced that Janssen Supply Group, LLC, a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary, had committed to occupy a large-scale manufacturing suite at the new plant, which should be fully operational in 2025. The company said the commitment is an extension of an existing relationship and will support the manufacture of Janssen’s clinical and commercial pipeline.

FDB Holly Springs rendering
Company rendering of what the Holly Springs site will look like when finished.

The company’s history in North Carolina dates back to 1994 when the North Carolina Biotechnology Center helped two Texas businessmen establish and fund a North Carolina-based company called BioPro, which built a 109,000-square-foot contract biomanufacturing facility to support multiple companies. It was successful and soon expanded. Through the intervening years, it was acquired several times and is now FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies. 

“We at the North Carolina Biotechnology Center are delighted that FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies has decided to expand in North Carolina again. Their confidence in our partnership over the past decades and for the future is a testament to North Carolina’s life sciences ecosystem,” said Doug Edgeton, president and CEO of NCBiotech. “We are proud that the Research Triangle has been recognized as the #1 biomanufacturing cluster in the U.S., a position that is strengthened by companies like FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies.”

Once completed, the site will provide drug substance manufacturing, automated fill-finish and assembly, packaging, and labeling services for global biopharmaceutical customers. The new facility will be a cornerstone in FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies’ global network of biopharmaceutical manufacturing for large-scale clients across Europe and the United States, allowing patient and supply chain proximity, which reduces environmental impacts of global transportation, the company said. 

“While the strength of North Carolina’s biomanufacturing training infrastructure is unparalleled, collaborative efforts, including the Accelerate NC: Life Sciences Manufacturing Coalition, are underway to increase awareness and ensure the state remains the leading location for biomanufacturing,” said Laura Rowley, Ph.D., vice president of life sciences economic development for NCBiotech. “FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies’ investment will provide critical capacity to manufacture innovative therapies. As an economic development organization and convener of North Carolina’s life sciences community, NCBiotech is committed to supporting the company’s continued success and growth in the state.” 

Workforce Development Partnerships

As it has expanded in North Carolina, FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies has invested in the region’s training resources to help prepare the state’s future life sciences workforce. 

FDB aerial current
Aerial photo of current Holly Springs site. -Photo from FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies

The company announced in March 2022 that it was making a $200,000 contribution to the Wake Tech Foundation to establish the FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies Early College Suite. Located on Wake Technical Community College’s Research Triangle Park (RTP) Campus, the suite houses the Wake Early College of Information and Biotechnologies, a partnership between the Wake County Public School System and Wake Technical Community College. This program provides high school students with the opportunity to earn dual-enrollment high school/college credits in IT and biotechnology programs. 

FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies is also a partner in the Accelerate NC – Life Sciences Manufacturing Coalition as a founding member of the North Carolina Life Sciences Apprenticeship Consortium. The NCLSAC is building awareness, training, and career opportunities to empower more North Carolinians to join the life sciences manufacturing industry.  

The additional investment in Holly Springs promises to bring more diverse jobs to the community, strengthen the local economy and expand opportunities for existing small businesses. The announcement represents a significant economic impact for both Holly Springs and the broader Wake County community. Across the two announcements regarding the Holly Spring facility, the company is investing $3.2 billion in the local community and creating over 1,400 jobs.

The FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies expansion is an example of Wake County’s strategic priority of supporting and growing existing companies in the region. This is also aligned with the county’s economic mobility goals. This expansion will build on well-established relationships with Wake Tech, NC State and Wake County Public Schools to train the workforce of the future.

FDB Doug Edgeton at state event
Doug Edgeton of NCBiotech speaking at the 
state announcement event on Thursday, April 11, 2024. 

 

Japanese companies in NC

FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies’ expansion announcement is the most recent by a Japanese biotech company and comes after Gov. Cooper and several state economic development officials, including Edgeton from NCBiotech, visited Japan last October for an economic development conference where they encouraged Japanese companies to partner with the state. 

Since October, three Japanese companies have selected North Carolina for its operations. Between 2018 and 2022, Japanese companies have announced more than $6.6 billion in investment in North Carolina and more than 5,166 new jobs. 

One global Japan-based pharmaceutical company, Kyowa Kirin, announced in February that it will be establishing its first pharmaceutical manufacturing complex in North America in Sanford, NC. Kyowa Kirin North America (KKNA) expects to create 102 new jobs and will invest $200 million in the new complex, which will manufacture Phase 2 and 3 clinical products, as well as be the commercial launch site for products developed at its parent company’s sites outside the United States. 

Currently, more than 28,000 North Carolinians work for Japanese companies such as FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies, FUJIFILM Irvine Scientific, Astellas Gene Therapies, Morinaga, and Sumitomo Pharma.

In line with the overall design and construction of the Holly Springs facility, the company said that its investment will incorporate sustainability initiatives that contribute to net-zero operations. All energy needs for operations is expected to be 100% offset through the use of renewable landfill gas, onsite solar and the 125,000 MWh of annual sustainable solar energy from a virtual power purchase agreement. 

Additional sustainability goals for water and waste reduction align with the company's Sustainable Value Plan 2030, and the campus is on track to achieve LEED Gold Certification with initiatives that include diverting 90% of construction waste from landfill, additional rooftop solar electricity, installation of heat recovery chiller systems to maximize efficiency between boilers and the chilled water system, and use of low embodied carbon concrete utilizing waste fly ash which delivers a 10% reduction in carbon emissions compared to standard cement.

For questions or more information, contact:
Chris Capot
Director, Public Relations Corporate Communications 919-549-8889 | chris_capot@ncbiotech.org

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