Munich and Amsterdam - WACKER, the Munich-based chemicals Group, is investing in its production facilities for biologics, LMPs (live microbial products) and vaccines at its Amsterdam site. Projects include the construction of a new fermentation line with a volume of 1,500 liters as well as the setting up of new cleanroom structures in the 270-liter fermentation line. The investment price is a mid-double-digit million-euro amount.

“By investing in new plants and production equipment, we are continuing to upgrade the Amsterdam site two years after WACKER took it over, and are making our company fit for the future,” explains Dr. Jörg Lindemann, managing director of the WACKER subsidiary Wacker Biotech B.V.

The construction of a new fermentation line with a volume of 1,500 liters is planned, which, after a transition period, will eventually supersede the existing 1,500-liter line. At the same time, new, improved cleanroom structures in the area of the 270-liter production line are to be created. The existing cleanrooms are to be gutted, completely renovated and successively re-equipped with state-of-the-art equipment. Among other improvements, new utility supplies are planned, such as water for injection. These measures will contribute to preparing the plant to produce new classes of actives, such as pDNA and mRNA-based vaccines. These nucleic acid-based actives classes are currently playing a role, for example, in the search for a vaccine against the new SARS Cov-2 corona virus.

“The strategic investment in our Amsterdam site is an important step in our continued growth in the fast-growing market for pharmaceuticals,” says Dr. Susanne Leonhartsberger, head of WACKER BIOSOLUTIONS, the company’s life-science division, justifying the investment decision. “The new structures, new equipment and new fermentation line will also enable us to reliably meet our customers’ demand in the next years. We will strengthen our position as one of the leading contract manufacturers in the field of microbial production of biologics,” adds Dr. Guido Seidel, head of the Biopharmaceuticals business line and managing director of Wacker Biotech GmbH.

As a CDMO (contract development and manufacturing organization), Wacker Biotech combines the WACKER Group’s biopharmaceutical activities. WACKER took over the site in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, in 2018, thereby doubling the company’s biologics capacity. The portfolio was expanded with the production of vaccines (including polysaccharides) and live microbial products. The site has two fermentation lines, currently with capacities of 1,500 and 270 liters respectively. These lines manufacture microbial-derived biopharmaceuticals, not only for clinical testing, but also for the commercial market. Further manufacturing potential is offered by single-use fermenters with a capacity of 250 liters together with the ancillary equipment. The sites service offering is rounded out with a fill-and-finish facility for filling and lyophilization, which enables the complete manufacture of pharmaceuticals from the active agent to the filled product.