Exyte GmbH (Exyte), a global leader in the design, engineering and delivery of facilities for high-tech industries, is building a mRNA competence center at the Halle Biotech site of Wacker Chemie AG (WACKER). The project is making a considerable contribution towards strengthening the Biopharma and Life Sciences segment at Exyte as well as to the company’s ambitious “Pathway to Ten” growth path.
Today, a breaking of ground ceremony marked the start of the construction work at the Wacker Biotech site in the Weinberg Campus technology park. The WACKER Group concentrates its biopharmaceuticals activities within Wacker Biotech, a full-service provider for microbial manufacturing of pharmaceutical proteins. At the new competence center, WACKER will manufacture active ingredients based on messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) used in coronavirus vaccines and in medicinal products for the treatment of cancer amongst others. On a total floor area of 7,400 m2 gross, of which 1,600 m2 will be clean room, four new production lines are to be built. Part of the capacities will be made available to the German government for its program to prepare for future pandemics. The aim of the Centre for Pandemic Vaccines and Therapeutics established by the German Federal Ministry of Health at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut is to make pandemic vaccines available within a very short time period. This is to avoid bottlenecks in production and distribution of vaccines and thus damage caused by future pandemics.
“We are delighted to support WACKER in planning, building, and qualifying the new facility with our extensive expertise in the construction of highly complex, high-quality pharmaceutical production facilities. We are making an important contribution towards producing cutting-edge mRNA therapeutics, both for personalized medicine and for the mass market, and are thus driving medical progress,” says Dr. Wolfgang Büchele, CEO of Exyte. “The manufacture of pharmaceutical actives is subject to the highest standards. As such, the requirements for plant construction are just as high,” says Melanie Käsmarker, Managing Director at Wacker Biotech GmbH. “In Exyte, we have the perfect partner for this project.”
“Biopharma and Life Sciences is a strategic growth segment for us. The demand for pharmaceutical and biotechnological production facilities for manufacturing innovative medical solutions will continue to grow in the future. The WACKER project is an important milestone on our dynamic growth path, our ‘Pathway to Ten'”, Büchele adds.
Sales to double by 2027
Exyte has set itself ambitious growth targets: with its “Pathway to Ten”, the company is planning to reach sales of ten billion euros by 2027. This would be twice the figure for 2021. The Biopharma and Life Sciences segment is to grow even more rapidly. Last year, the division increased its sales by 60 per cent. Envisaged sales in Biopharma and Life Sciences are to increase by an average of 26 per cent per year until 2027. This means that sales in this segment are to quadruple by 2027 compared to 2021. With sales of 1.5 billion euros, the segment will then generate 15 per cent of Exyte’s total sales. Currently, the company is expanding its presence in Europe and the US to this end. “Our high-tech factories enable our customers to deliver innovative products and services that improve the quality of life. Better medical care, faster healing processes, a higher life expectancy – all this facilitated with the support of Exyte,” Büchele points out.
Exyte draws on extensive and long-standing technical and process engineering expertise in the Biopharma and Life Sciences segment. The company is the preferred partner of its customers in supporting them with the efficient construction of new production facilities and the modernization of existing ones. Customers include global leaders in industries such as biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, specialty and fine chemicals, medical products, consumer care as well as food and diet.
Billion-euro market biopharma and biotechnology
According to the market research company Next Move Strategy Consulting the global market for biopharmaceutical products is to grow to 950 billion US dollars (900 billion euros) by 2030, an increase of 180 per cent compared to 2021. The OECD has calculated that companies in the five countries conducting the most research in Europe in 2019 invested almost 15 billion euros in research and development in the biotechnology sector, of which around 1.6 billion euros were spent in Germany. As a result, the range of new products has grown in the sector. In Germany, the share of biopharmaceutical products in the overall market for pharmaceuticals was 31.4 per cent in 2021 according to BCG and vfa bio. The figure for 2018 was 27.1 per cent. An analysis by the journal Nature from 2021 shows that 31 global mRNA companies have 180 projects in their pipeline. Future mRNA applications will include cancer prevention and therapy, multi-antigen vaccines or personalized cancer vaccines.
Another driver for growth for Exyte’s business is the growing trend towards personalized medicine. The Grand View Research Institute estimates that the worldwide market volume of this segment is to almost double between 2018 and 2025, from 1.57 trillion US dollars (1.5 trillion euros) to 3.18 trillion US dollars (3 trillion euros). The annual growth rate is approximately 10 per cent.
Exyte takes overall responsibility as general contractor for “Fast Track” project
Exyte is EPCQ (Engineering, Procurement, Construction and Qualification) contract partner and general contractor for WACKER’s highly complex Halle project. All work relating to the new construction project is provided by Exyte or by subcontractors on behalf of Exyte – from architectural design, technical building infrastructure and engineering of the complete plant to delivering the processing plant, automation, commissioning and qualification. Exyte not only offers the complete range of services, but also takes on overall responsibility for quality assurance and delivering the project within the set timeframe and budget. In central Europe, and in particular in the German-speaking countries, Exyte is the only provider in the Biopharma and Life Sciences segment offering such a comprehensive range of services.
The new building is to be completed and production to commence in under 24 months. “This speed of implementation sets new standards in the industry. With the help of our engineering expertise and our innovative solutions, our customers can make vital pharmaceutical products available faster than ever before,” Büchele continues. In order to minimize time to market for new vaccines, Exyte uses the proven high-quality ExyCell system for the rapid, modular construction of biopharma production facilities developed by Exyte.
More information on the Centre for Pandemic Vaccines and Therapeutics at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut can be found here.