Wacker Biotech B.V.
Strengthening the pharmaceutical protein business with a new biotechnology plant for manufacturing biopharmaceuticals, live bacteria and vaccines
With the takeover of SynCo Bio Partners B.V. in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, in 2018 Wacker Chemie AG strengthened its pharmaceutical protein business and expanded its portfolio – an important step to keep pace with the rapidly growing biologics market. Following the acquisition in April last year, the new name Wacker Biotech B.V. came into effect in November. Just like Wacker Biotech GmbH, Wacker Biotech B.V. is a full-service contract manufacturer of biopharmaceutical proteins based on microbial systems. The new Amsterdam site joins Jena and Halle as Wacker Biotech’s third state-of-the-art production site that guarantees top quality standards in accordance with GMP (good manufacturing practice).
The site’s history began in 1989 with the founding of EuroCetus B.V. by the US Cetus Corporation, targeting commercial production of the cancer drug ProLeukin II in Europe. Shortly after approval for the active was obtained in 1992, the company was taken over by Chiron Corporation and renamed Chiron B.V. After Novartis acquired Chiron Corporation in 2000, SynCo Bio Partners B.V. was spun off as an independent full-service contract manufacturer. WACKER then took over 18 years later.
Some 110 employees work at the Amsterdam site today. The plant consists of two fermentation lines, a single-use equipment line, and a fill-and-finish facility for filling sterile solutions into vials. To this end, the site has production rooms that comply with the highest cleanroom classification – Class A. This means that there must be only very few organisms in each cubic meter of air. Additionally, the Amsterdam site has a lyophilization facility, where active ingredient solutions can be freeze-dried. This often improves their stability, i.e. their shelf life. Amsterdam’s three production lines have a combined fermenter volume for pharmaceutical actives of some 2,000 liters. The acquisition of the site has thus more than doubled Wacker Biotech’s capacities.
Wacker Biotech’s technology and service portfolio has broadened, too: the biotech specialists in Amsterdam contribute their expertise in the production of live microbial products. These represent a promising new class of actives, offering innovative treatments for serious illnesses and new vaccines against diseases such as cholera.
Site-Specific Facts & Figures
- Name: Wacker Biotech B.V.
- Site: Amsterdam
- Employees: approx. 180
- Products: manufacture of biopharmaceuticals, live microbial products and vaccines for innovative therapies for serious illnesses
- The facility is certified in accordance with Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) and complies with the requirements stipulated by the European and US drug-approval authorities (EMA and FDA, respectively).