Emerson Process Management has won a contract from Celltrion to automate what is thought to be the first large scale biopharmaceuticals manufacturing facility in South Korea.
Emerson will provide engineering services and its PlantWeb digital plant architecture to help streamline the 215,000-square-foot facility's manufacturing process, increasing output and reducing costs.
Celltrion was founded in February 2002 by US company VaxGen and a group of Korean partners, including Nexol, Nexol Biotech, KT&G and J Stephen & Co Ventures. The biologics manufacturing facility will be used to manufacture VaxGen's AIDS vaccine candidates, if licensed, and other biopharmaceutical products.
Emerson will provide engineering design, configuration, documentation, site testing, commissioning and validation support for the facility and claims that the use of PlantWeb, its digital automation system (DeltaV) and predictive maintenance software (AMS) will increase throughput and improve plant uptime.
The plant, based at Songdo New City in Inchon, South Korea, will house four 12,500-litre bioreactor systems for clinical to commercial-scale production of protein-based pharmaceuticals that requires mammalian cell fermentation. It will be initially equipped with a total bioreactor capacity of 50,000 litres and is designed to allow expansion to 150,000 litres.
Celltrion said it expects the facility to be ready for commercial operations in mid-2005, subject to regulatory approval.