Repligen to expand chromatography column production capacity in US and Europe
Early last month, Repligen acquired German life sciences company Atoll for $22.5m, expanding its chromatography column business and further diversifying its business away from the supply of Protein A ligands, used to make Protein A resin for the capture of monoclonal antibodies.
But the deal also brought the Waltham, Massachusetts-based company a manufacturing presence in Europe, and during a conference call to discuss Q1 2016 results, management said it plans to expand production at the former Atoll facility in Weingarten, Germany.
“We will now have a central European presence,” said CEO Tony Hunt. “We can invest and build out the Weingarten, Germany facility to not only manufacture the full portfolio of pre-packed columns but also be a customer facing hub for our direct portfolio of products, providing increased service and support for our European customers.”
Details of an expansion at the site have not yet been finalised, Hunt continued, but Repligen is likely to add in production suites for the manufacture of its entire range of pre-packed chromatography columns – from the Atoll MediaScout brand of pre-packed columns to Repligen’s own ready-to-use Opus range - in the first half of next year.
Expanded capacity in Germany would mirror a general strategy to grow capacity at Repligen’s site in Massachusetts.
The firm expanded the Waltham plant in 2013, adding 9,000 sq ft of capacity for its Opus products and followed this up with a $4m investment adding a further 11,000 sq ft, completed last year. Hunt told stakeholders a third expansion has recently begun.
“We made a decision early in Q1 that we wanted to accelerate a new suite that we were adding in here in Waltham, so that came onboard actually at the end of April. We’re going to add two more production suites by the end of Q3 here in Waltham, which will give us a total of five production suites for Opus.”
For the first quarter 2016, Repligen reported sales of $25m, up 21% on the same period last year, and described by Hunt as “record revenue” for the firm, driven by increased demand for our proprietary products.