Covid vaccine firm's £613m investment is 'game changing' for jobs

A multi-million-pound investment by a global biologics company has been hailed as “game changing” for jobs and the area by Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen.

By Tom Patterson
Thursday, 1st July 2021, 9:02 am

Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies, which has a production facility in Billingham has announced it will invest £613m to significantly increase its manufacturing capacity for state-of-the-art drug and vaccine components.

The company already employs 850 people on Teesside and it is expected this will significantly increase as part of the investment.

Fujifilm is currently building a new BioCampus at its Billingham site, which Mayor Houchen has backed with nearly £4m in funding.

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen.

The development includes the construction of 42,000 square feet of purpose-built office accommodation, additional research and development laboratories and new manufacturing facilities along with a visitors’ centre.

The Billingham facility is currently used to produce 60 million doses of the Novavax coronavirus vaccine, the only United Kingdom manufacturing site for the vaccine, and Mayor Houchen said: “After months of discussions with Government and Fujifilm I’m delighted at this amazing news. This game changing investment is a huge win for Teesside and for our life sciences sector.

“Fujifilm’s Billingham facility is already playing a critical role in the fight against the coronavirus by pre-producing the Novavax vaccine ahead of the MHRA giving it regulatory approval, and expanding the facility will allow Fujifilm to play an even more important role locally, nationally and internationally.

FujiFilm Corporation president Teiichi Goto said: “Fujifilm will never stop in its relentless pursuit to develop new technologies and provide the necessary manufacturing capacity to meet the needs of our customers and accelerate the growth of its business.

The Billingham facility is expected to open in late 2023.