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October 03, 2003— Ottawa, Ontario

DSM Biologics Builds New Biopharmaceuticals Plant in Montreal

Montreal's growing biopharmaceutical cluster received a major boost with the announcement by Dutch firm DSM Biologics (DSM) of plans to build a large-scale biopharmaceuticals plant in the city.

DSM's new large-scale biopharmaceutical plant in Montreal.The first phase of the project represents an investment of approximately EUR 100 million. A leading manufacturer of pharmaceutical products, DSM has operated a 6,500 m2 plant in the city since 1996. DSM will expand its capacity from 2,000 litres to more than 60,000 litres. The facility will be used for the production of monoclonal antibodies and recombinant proteins based on mammalian cell culture technology.

When it came time to select a location for its new facility, DSM had its pick of world-class cities. Access to renowned scientists and a solid investment infrastructure made Montreal a natural choice. But it was the tireless efforts of the NRC Biotechnology Research Institute (NRC-BRI) and its partners that convinced DSM that Montreal was the ideal city for expansion.

NRC-BRI and DSM have long enjoyed a partnership involving joint research activities as well as occupancy in the Institute's Industrial Partnership Facility. This unique affiliation has culminated in significant networking opportunities and has granted DSM access to specialized laboratory space, key infrastructure and research expertise in bioprocessing and mammalian cell line production. Further enhancing its substantial resources and expertise in this area, NRC-BRI recently restructured its research focus to add more impact to the Bioprocess Platform.

"DSM's decision to expand in Montreal is the result of years of fruitful collaboration and establishing a strong relationship and good friendships with our DSM collaborators. With this expansion, I would think that our collaborations will increase in number and will bring us even closer to their strategic plans," said Dr. Michel Desrochers, Director General of the NRC-BRI.

By building a strong business case for DSM's expansion in Montreal, NRC-BRI has fostered a mutually beneficial arrangement.

By expanding its R&D and production facilities, DSM will enhance its manufacturing capacity and strengthen its position as a key supplier to the pharmaceutical industry. Currently, factors such as reproducibility, product identity, product purity and product potency have contributed to a major shortfall in manufacturing capacity. In fact, current worldwide capacity rests at 400,000 litres but is forecast to rise to 1.5 million litres by 2005. With the creation of a new manufacturing facility in Montreal, DSM is uniquely positioned to fill this gap.

Montreal stands to reap countless rewards from the investment. DSM's new high-tech facility will bolster the city's biopharmaceutical cluster in several ways. For starters, the plant will add new capacity for the production of pharmaceutical products. There are currently 200 drugs derived from mammalian cell culture in clinical trials and 70 of these drugs are expected to receive approval by 2006. In addition, DSM's plant serves as a gateway to the U.S. manufacturing sector.

On a more local level, DSM's presence will offer exceptional support to small companies in the region, and is expected to lead to the creation of 650 highly skilled jobs. In addition, DSM is likely to attract foreign investment dollars – capital which will further strengthen Montreal's burgeoning biopharmaceutical cluster.


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Enquiries: Media relations
National Research Council of Canada
613-991-1431
media@nrc-cnrc.gc.ca

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