Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies announced that its College Station, Texas, site will manufacture a COVID-19 vaccine candidate under a $265 million federal contract.
The contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) for biologics, viral vaccines and gene therapies said it received the federal task order through the Texas A&M System Center for Innovation in Advanced Development & Manufacturing (CIADM), a public-private partnership between the government’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) and the university. CIADM subcontracts manufacturing to the Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies’ owned-and-operated flexible biomanufacturing facility in College Station. The task order reserves manufacturing at the plant capacity in through the end of 2021.
The money will help accelerate Fujifilm Diosynth’s planned facility expansion by several months, now with an anticipated completion by fall 2020. The Texas A&M CIADM is the second to be reserved and expanded for the federal government’s Operation Warp Speed COVID-19 vaccine development effort. The first was a CIADM in Maryland.
“Our leading scientists and engineers in College Station are honored to support COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing with the goal of delivering a safe and effective vaccine to the U.S. population,” said Dr. Gerry Farrell, COO of FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies, Texas, in a news release. “We will allocate the reserved capacity based on direction provided by the U.S. government, and similar to our North Carolina site, we expect a portion of the reserved capacity to be allocated to Novavax, Inc. for its NVX-CoV2373 COVID-19 vaccine candidate.”
On July 23, Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies announced an agreement with Novavax to manufacture bulk drug substance for NVX-CoV2373 at its site in Morrisville, N.C. The technology transfer from North Carolina to Texas will begin in late 2020 with expanded mass production of the vaccine candidate starting in early 2021, the company said.