Japan’s Fujifilm corp will spend 100 billion yen that is around ($928.68 million) to double the capacity at a drug manufacturing facility in Denmark, which it has pledged to use in producing COVID-19 treatments, as the Japanese company steps up its pivot towards health care.
The investment in Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies will expand production lines for bulk drug substances and cultivate cells for producing viral vaccines, Fujifilm announced on Tuesday. It bought the facility in Hillerod, Denmark, in August from Biogen Inc for about $890 million.
The investment expands Fujifilm’s presence as a global contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO), which supplies other companies in the pharma industry. Fujifilm started to diversify from cameras and office equipment and into health care more than a decade ago.
Fujifilm previously announced that the Denmark site would offer future manufacturing capacity to the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator to speed up the response to the global pandemic.
It is an initiative launched by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and two other large charities, aimed at accelerating drug development and identifying a promising COVID-19 therapeutic candidate based on efficacy and safety data demonstrated in clinical trials.
Fujifilm’s pharma arm is testing its own anti-flu drug Avigan as a treatment for COVID-19.
The company aims to achieve 100 billion yen in sales in its bio-CDMO business by the fiscal year ending March 2022.
Fujifilm shares rose 0.7 percent in Tokyo versus a 0.2 percent gain in the broader market.