Biocon Investing $100 Million in New Fermentation-Based API Mfg Facility
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 Prasad BSV COO Biocon Limited cropped

Prasad BSV
Chief Operating Officer
Biocon Limited

Biocon is investing $100 million in a new fermentation-based production facility for drugs substances and intermediates. Prasad BSV, Chief Operating Officer (COO), Biocon, detailed the expansion and how it fits in the company’s manufacturing network at the DCAT Member Company Announcement Forum—Virtual Edition, a special online forum of the major news announcements from DCAT member companies originally to be made March 23, 2020 at DCAT Week ’20 in New York. 

The COO explained that fermentation is a core competency of the company, dating back to its founding in 1978 as an enzyme-manufacturing company. Since then, the company has evolved into an integrated biopharmaceutical company that also includes a contract development and manufacturing business of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) based on fermentation technology, complex organic synthesis, and high-potency compounds with multiple facilities in India in Bangalore, Hyderabad, and Visakhapatnam. 

To add to its capabilities in fermentation-based APIs, Biocon is investing $100 million in a new fermentation production facility for drug substances and intermediates in Visakhapatnam (see Figure 1). The facility will be the company’s third fermentation production facility and is scheduled to be commissioned by the end of 2021. The company’s existing fermentation production facilities are in Bangalore. With its $100-million investment for a greenfield fermentation production facility in Visakhapatnam, Biocon will be able to provide large-scale capacities from multiple sites (Bangalore and Visakhapatnam) for complex fermentation products. 

Biocon MAF Figure

The new facility will have 2 x 100-KL and 2 x 10-KL fermenters and downstream equipment, which will add to the company’s existing fermentation capacity. It now has 500-KL fermenter capacity at its existing sites; the largest chromatographic column is 1,200 mm. Its facilities are able to handle different kinds of products based on various combinations of downstream equipment: viz. crystallizers, centrifuges, micro-filtration, nano-filtration, and lyophilizers.

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