Bilfinger supports leading biopharmaceutical company in the production of mRNA active ingredients

November 09, 2021

  • Reactor skids and process piping for new production plant
  • Bilfinger convinces with maximum flexibility under extreme time pressure
  • Up to 60 Bilfinger employees on site

Bilfinger is supporting a well-known biopharmaceutical company in the construction of a new industrial production facility for mRNA (messenger ribonucleic acid)-based active ingredients. The industrial services provider delivers the molecular biological reactors that are the core of the new plant. Bilfinger is also responsible for the construction of the plant’s process piping systems. The “ultra-fast track project” will be completed in less than a year. To flexibly meet the demands of installation peaks, there will at times be up to 60 Bilfinger employees on site.

“Bilfinger is an established service provider to the biopharmaceutical industry. With our vast pool of experts and resilient supplier network, we readily provide all the necessary components and resources in the required high quality within a very short period of time. This enables our customer to build up the capacities for its active ingredient production quickly and smoothly”, says Christina Johansson, interim CEO and CFO at Bilfinger.

A team from Bilfinger Industrietechnik Salzburg has been working under extreme time pressure on the implementation of the project since summer 2021. The experts are responsible for the process piping construction for the entire plant, including all assembly, welding and documentation work. Various media required for active ingredient production will flow through the process piping later on.

The scope of services includes engineering, production, assembly, qualification and commissioning of molecular biological reactors, delivered as prefabricated “skids”. The skids are manufactured and pre-assembled in Bilfinger's workshops in Salzburg, Austria, where they are also tested and prequalified under realistic operating conditions. The strict requirements laid out by the GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice)-standards of the biopharmaceutical industry apply. Prefabrication allows the installation and commissioning phases to be completed on site in record time.

The molecular biological reactors are the key component for the production of messenger RNA. mRNA is a messenger substance that contains the building instructions for the production of proteins. Use of mRNA technology in vaccines and drugs enables the body's own cells to form antigens and thus prevent and fight diseases. The mRNA-based active ingredients manufactured at the new production facility will be used to treat a range of diseases and infections. In addition to cancer medication and molecular therapies, prophylactic vaccines against malaria, yellow fever, rabies and Covid-19 are also produced.

Bilfinger has been an experienced partner to the pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical industry for decades, providing customers with comprehensive expertise in the production process of pharmaceutical and biotechnological products. Bilfinger supports the entire lifecycle of a plant - from design, installation and commissioning to maintenance and modernization. This year alone, the industrial services provider has supported a number of well-known companies in the pharmaceutical industry in the implementation of complex projects, including the conversion of plants for the industrial production of corona vaccines as well as the optimization of production plants for the manufacture of pharmaceuticals from human plasma.

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