Lab Canada

Large-scale biopharmaceutical plant gets go-ahead in Montreal

Montreal, QC May 14, 2003 Biopharmaceutical company DSM Biologics has decided to proceed with construction of a $160-million large-scale biopharmaceuticals plant in Montreal. The decision follows on the announcement last July that the company was investing in the basic engineering for the new plant.

When complete, the project will feature four fermentors with a combined capacity of more than 60,000 litres and will include full downstream processing capabilities and related infrastructure.

The facility will be used for producing monoclonal antibodies (MABs) and recombinant proteins based on mammalian cell culture technology.

The plant will have a modular design, with separated production lines and will be built in two phases, with the $160 million investment representing phase one of the project. Phase one will include construction of the full shell and installation of the first 30,000-litre line. The company says it expects this part of the facility will come on-stream by mid-2005.

“The decision reflects DSM’s strategic ambition to become a globally leading custom manufacturing organization for biopharmaceutical products,” says Feike Sijbesma, member of the DSM’s managing board. "The combination of our track record in microbial fermentation, our position in mammalian technology and our development and manufacturing capabilities for small and large volume biopharmaceuticals makes us a valuable partner for our pharmaceutical customers."

Established in 1986, DSM Biologics is a joint venture of DSM Pharmaceutical Products, a contract biopharmaceuticals manufacturer, and industrial and financial holding company Socit Gnrale de Financement du Qubec (SGF). The company specializes in the use of cell culture systems (microbial and animal) and purification techniques.