Danish factory hired by the Gates Foundation to make drug against Covid-19

When the times comes for drugs to be mass-produced for the worldwide treatment of Covid-19, a Greater Copenhagen based pharmaceutical factory and its 800 employees will play a key role.

In a press release, Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies states that their plant in Hillerød has been hired by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to be ready to mass produce a treatment for Covid-19. 

The Foundation is yet to determine which drug will be produced at the Hillerød plant. However, it will be for use in developing countries. 

Equal access to drugs treating Covid-19

The agreement between Fujifilm and The Gates Foundation is part of the Gates Foundation's efforts to ensure that low-income areas are guaranteed equal access and priority when a Covid-19 treatment becomes available.

The Hillerød factory will work with a, still to be selected, medical partner in supporting the rapid production and supply of Covid-19 treatment for patients in low-income countries.

Fujifilm currently produces Avigan (favipiravir), an influenza drug which has shown early signs of having an effect on covid-19, but the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is also testing malaria treatments chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine to see their effects on the virus. The most advanced covid-19 drug is Gilead Sciences' remdesivir, which has shown an effect in a phase III study involving 800 patients.

The agreement is set in place due to the creation of the 825 million DKK fund "Therapeutics Accelerator Covid-19", which is established by the Gates Foundation in collaboration with the Wellcome Trust and Mastercard Impact Fund.

So far, production capacity is reserved in Hillerød until the end of 2021, with the possibility of extending the agreement. 

COVID-19 has profoundly impacted the international community, to strengthen the community through innovation, FUJIFILM Corporation and Fujifilm companies around the world are committed to supporting the fight against COVID-19. We are proud to be able to contribute with the capabilities of FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies and hereby supporting the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator and partners in their mission to improve health. 

- Martin Meeson, CEO responsible for FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies globally.

 

The plant in Hillerød belonged to the biogenic company Biogen until March last year, when it sold for DKK 5.9 billion to Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies.

Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies (FDB) manufactures contracted drugs and is part of the Japanese Fujifilm conglomerate, perhaps best known for its cameras. Another company is developing the Avigan flu agent in the Fujifilm conglomerate named Fujifilm Toyama Chemical.