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Bayer invests 35m euros in biologics production

Published on 14/12/10 at 10:44am
Bayer's biologics production
Bayer's R&D chief Dr Wolfgang Plischke (first left)

Bayer HealthCare is ramping up its biologics production capacity with the building of a new facility in Wuppertal, Germany, that will make clinical trial supplies.

The company says it will spend around 35 million euros on the new unit, which will cover an area of 1,000 sq.m. and is due to start operations in late 2012.

The aim is to create a flexible, multipurpose production unit that can manufacture a wide variety of products and help bring new therapeutics into clinical trials more quickly, said the company.

Last month, Bayer said it would implement a cost-cutting programme aimed at saving around 800 million euros a year, with the aim of reinvesting around half of that money in R&D.  

"The new cell biology facility centre represents an investment in our long-term success", commented Bayer's R&D chief Dr Wolfgang Plischke at a ceremony to lay a foundation stone for the new building on yesterday (13 December).

The building will have a total of 1,370 sq.m. of cleanroom capacity across two storeys, accessible exclusively via air lock systems. Technology areas, offices and social rooms are spread across another three storeys, said the company. It will employ 20 staff.

Meanwhile, the European investment comes against a backdrop of major expansion of Bayer's biotechnology capacity, which includes a strong presence on the West Coast of the USA that will be added to later this year by a new R&D facility in San Francisco, as well as an ongoing $100 million expansion of its biomanufacturing plant in Berkeley.

"The new facility centre will enable us to increase our production capacities in order to manufacture enough material for the late phases in clinical development for an increased number of potential active ingredients," said Professor Dr Andreas Busch.

Bayer currently has more than 50 drugs in clinical trials and is investing two thirds of its annual 3.1 billion-euro R&D funding in pharmaceuticals.

Phil Taylor

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