WuXi facility boosts bioprocessing capacity with new bioreactors

The new installation increases capacity at WuXi Biologics’ Hangzhou manufacturing facility from 8,000L to 23,000L.

WuXi Biologics bioreactors

WuXi Biologics has successfully installed three new sets of 5,000L single-use bioreactors at its MFG20 drug substance manufacturing facility in Hangzhou, China.

Fitted in the facility’s second drug substance line, the contract research, development and manufacturing organisation (CRDMO) explained that this move enhances manufacturing capability at the site, by increasing capacity from 8,000L to 23,000L.

Enhancing bioreactor capacity

Single-use bioreactors enable “highly flexible and cost-effective manufacturing and are more environmentally sustainable with reduced contamination risk”, when compared with stainless steel bioreactors, WuXi Biologics stated.

a larger 5,000L single-use reactor means manufacturing efficiency is improved by lowering the number of production batches and decreases production cost by reducing equipment, labour, and material consumption”

Utilising the larger reactor means manufacturing efficiency is improved, by “lowering the number of production batches and decreases production cost by reducing equipment, labour, and material consumption”, the company explained.

The new single-use bioreactors at the Hangzhou facility are expected to complete good manufacturing practise (GMP) release later in 2024, the CRDMO confirmed.

“The addition of 5,000L single-use bioreactors is a major milestone in our company’s offerings, as we enhance capacity and capability to meet the needs of our clients,” Dr Chris Chen, CEO of WuXi Biologics commented.

Making progress in manufacturing from Ireland to China

This news follows a major production-related development for the CRDMO earlier this year. In January, WuXi Biologics successfully completed its inaugural manufacturing run at its drug substance facility MFG7 in Ireland.

The run combined four 4,000-litre single-use bioreactors, and in total resulted in the largest manufacturing scale for WuXi Biologics to date.

During the initial announcement, Dr Chen remarked that the milestone achieved “demonstrates that comparable Cost of Goods (COGS) can be achieved by leveraging more environmental social governance (ESG) friendly single-use technologies”.

WuXi Biologics highlighted that globally, it has “widely” adopted single-use technologies across its manufacturing network, with scales ranging “from 200L to 4,000L”.