As reported in AP-Food Technology, Wacker Chemie AG has completed an 18 B euro expansion of its cGMP biologics production facility in Jena, Germany. The capacity expansion was intended to make Wacker more competitive in this space with rivals from emerging markets. The plant meets FDA and EMEA standards according to Wacker.
This fermentation facility (using patented E. coli K12 strain) employs Wacker's proprietary Esetec and Densetec technology to more cost-effectively boost product yields (up to 3x yield according to company spokesman).
Today, Merck announced it has joined a consortium of IBM, Batelle and GE Healthcare to build a state-of-the-art vaccine plant proposed by the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (from my home town). As reported in the Pittsburgh Business Journal , the new vaccine factory would be operated by UMPC and the federal government. The facility is being built as part of a rapid response plan to bioterrorist attack. The project is expected to cost $900 M and create up to 1,000 direct jobs (up to 6,000 indirect).
"Through this collaboration, we are poised to deliver the urgently needed advances in vaccine development and manufacturing as recently called for by President Obama in his State of the Union address,” UPMC Chief Legal Counsel Robert Cindrich said in a prepared statement.
Batelle will provide pre-clinical research and development services. IBM will provide IT infrastructure and services. Merck will provide drug development and bioprocess consulting. GE will provide manufacturing and design, production equipment and manufacturing processes.
The partnership answers President Obama's call in the State of the Union address for collaboration between pharma, biotech and the federal government.
Posted by Bruce Lehr March 12th, 2010