Simtra BioPharma Solutions says it will construct a 150,000 square-foot building dedicated to fill/finish in Bloomington, Indiana as demand for GLP-1 and other drugs rises.

Millie Nelson, Editor

March 1, 2024

3 Min Read

The expansion follows Simtra’s recent acquisition by private equity investors, Advent International and Warburg Pincus.

The facility will include two high-speed automated isolator syringe fill lines and a high-speed isolator vial line with three 30 square meter lyophilizers. Each suite in the building has been designed to be fitted with formulation and compounding rooms.

Additionally, the expansion will have a dedicated clinical line to support the firm’s development and clinical business. The clinical line is expected to be ready to take on projects by summer 2025.

“We are expanding our existing footprint at our existing site in Bloomington Indiana by adding a new building. It is easier to add to an existing site rather than to build an entirely new one; it is easier to manage from an infrastructure and personnel standpoint. We are adding more capacity to our existing site in order to meet the growing needs of our customers,” a spokesperson for Simtra told BioProcess Insider.

Buildout of the facility is expected to start in June this year and the firm said it anticipates construction to take two years to complete, which will enable operations to begin in late 2026. Furthermore, the spokesperson said Simtra is aiming to add “130 […] hires across production, quality, engineering, and other support functions.”

“We will partner with the Bloomington Economic Development Corporation, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation as well as local Universities (IU) and colleges (Ivy Tech) to recruit skilled personnel.”

GLP-1 go-go

According to the firm, the expansion will support multiple modalities, including Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) drugs.

“We are increasing prefilled syringe capacity due to growing demand for this platform type as a result of the growth of GLP-1 drugs.  We can support molecules for various therapy areas supplied in prefilled syringes on our new lines, not only GLP-1 products,” said the spokesperson.
GLP-1s represent the new wave of diabetes and weight loss blockbuster drugs, such as Ozempic and Wegovy (both semuglatide). For the full-year 2023, the former brought in $14.8 billion and the former added $4.5 billion to Novo Nordisk’s topline.  
Diabetes drug Mounjaro (tirzepatide), meanwhile pulled in over $5 billion for Eli Lilly last year, and its recently approved obesity drug Zepbound (also tirzepatide), is expected to grow revenues in the future.  

In November 2023, the firm pledged $6 billion to expand facilities in Denmark to support GLP-1 production. In the same month, Novo Nordisk ploughed another $2+ billion to increase capacity at its Chartres, France plant to meet demand for its obesity and diabetes products. In January, the company confirmed to BioProcess Insider it had acquired land at Grange Castle Business Park in Ireland and submitted a planning application. While no further details or specifics were disclosed, it is thought this will be used to up GLP-1 production.

And in one of its biggest moves so far, investment firm Novo Holdings acquired contract development manufacturing organization (CDMO) Catalent for $16.5 billion in February. The deal will take Catalent private and sell three of its drug product manufacturing facilities to its holding company Novo Nordisk, and thus strengthen GLP-1 production capabilities.

About the Author(s)

Millie Nelson

Editor, BioProcess Insider

Journalist covering global biopharmaceutical manufacturing and processing news and host of the Voices of Biotech podcast.

I am currently living and working in London but I grew up in Lincolnshire (UK) and studied in Newcastle (UK).

Got a story? Feel free to email me at [email protected]

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