At BIO 2012 in Boston, I had the chance to sit down with Karen King, the president and business unit director of DSM Biologics. Responsible for all operations and sales for DSM biologics’ manufacturing business and biologics technology licensing, King arrived at DSM with two and a half decades of experience in the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries. Her mission: “To look at the biologics space and see how DSM’s competencies and technologies can be best utilized,” she said.
During our interview, King discussed two just announced developments involving DSM. One concerned a deal with a “major pharma company” under which DSM will use its XD® high cell density process technology to manufacture “three of their leading antibody pipeline products for different indications,” explained King. Work will take place at the company’s Groningen, Netherlands and Brisbane, Australia facilities. DSM will complete process development and commercial manufacturing for the products.
“Our XD technology can increase product titers by 5–15 times while reducing costs,” she pointed out.
King also referenced this week’s news that DSM Biologics and the Australian Institute of Bioengineering & Nanotechnology (AIBN) will collaborate on the development of a new CHO cell line to be funded by the Queensland Government. The cell line will be used in the company’s Brisbane-based mammalian biopharmaceutical facility, which is scheduled to become fully operational in mid-2013.
“The CHO cell line capability will enhance our ability to offer a fuller range of services to our clients,” continued King. “The Brisbane facility will provide us with a strong presence in the increasingly important Asia-Pacific region.”
She added that the Brisbane facility, although not fully completed, will begin offering process development services within the next six months.
Separately, King said that a significant two-phase expansion is currently taking place at its Groningen site. It is expected to be completed by November. The expansion involves the installation of a 1,000 liter bioreactor and a 500 liter XD system. The company is also adding the corresponding larger downstream processing areas.