Member Spotlight: Q&A with FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies

Oct 01, 2022

Every month, MassBio spotlights a member company and the great work they’re doing to advance the life sciences industry and support the patients we serve. This month, we spoke with Andy Topping, PhD, CSO of FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies. Andy has served as Chief Scientific Officer since October 2015. Over his tenure he has served in several scientific roles working with customers to develop innovative and scientifically sound solutions to programs. As CSO, Andy oversees all the innovation initiatives at the company. You can explore a future with FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies by visiting their careers site, including those at their new Watertown, MA location.

Tell us about your organization, its mission, and current initiatives.

FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies is a world leading cGMP Contract Development and Manufacturing Organization (CDMO). We provide comprehensive services to develop and manufacture protein biologics, vaccines and advanced therapies for our clients. We don’t have drugs of our own and our mission is to be our clients’ CDMO Partner for Life: to strategically support their products throughout development and commercialization and to make a difference in the lives of patients globally. We are a trusted partner to some of the most pioneering and prominent biopharmaceutical companies in the world.

Across the broad range of modalities we support, our industry leading technology platforms offer high productivity processes and methodologies with proven timelines and reduced risk, building quality and patient safety into the manufacturing processes. Our locations in the UK, Denmark and US are highly integrated, offering agility and flexibility from preclinical to large scale commercialization.

Fill us in on your recent growth here in the Massachusetts biotech hub.

In addition to our Cambridge Collaboration Center (C3) at One Kendall Square, we recently began serving clients at our new Watertown location where we are focused on early-stage process development (PD) and cGMP manufacture of viral vectors for gene therapies. This local support for the innovative companies in Massachusetts allows us to work more closely than ever, increasing collaboration and communication to successfully translate the ideas emerging from local labs into clinical candidates, speeding their progression through clinical trials. Our team in Watertown forms part of our larger, highly integrated gene therapy network including sites in the UK and Texas which can support viral based products through to commercial scale manufacture. We continue our New England expansion and are actively recruiting in Massachusetts.

What do you see as the biggest challenge facing the life sciences industry today?

Keeping up! Science is advancing fast, biotechs and academic research labs are developing more novel medicines, more quickly than ever before. These offer incredible potential benefits to patients but can only become real products if they can be consistently and economically made. The path to get these medicines to patients is not only arduous but often unclear and companies face regulatory and technology hurdles, a shortage of scientific talent and straight up manufacturing capacity challenges. An essential part of our strategy and execution as a CDMO is to anticipate requirements, build technical teams with broad skills and process understanding plus build flexible facilities – after all in 5 years’ time we may need to manufacture a product type that doesn’t even exist today.

What’s next for your organization / what are you focused on in the coming year?

Over the past 3 years investments of over $7.4B have been made in state of the art US, UK and Denmark facility expansions that support all our service lines, with additional global capacity coming online during the course of 2023-2025. We’ll continue to make investments in growing a skilled workforce, and in enhancing our platform technologies, and we’ll do it in sustainable, responsible ways. Partners for Life – our core purpose – extends beyond advancing tomorrow’s medicines. For more information, visit:

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