Center for Breakthrough Medicines plans for an even larger dive into cell therapy manufacturing
As the pipeline for cell therapies grows, manufacturers and CDMOs are looking to get in on the action.
The Center for Breakthrough Medicines, a Pennsylvania-based CDMO, is partnering with Discovery Labs to accelerate plans to build the capacity to manufacture more than 10,000 patient therapies at their headquarters in King of Prussia, PA, a suburb of Philadelphia.
The planning has begun on the manufacturing suites and supporting infrastructure, and when completed the facility, according to CBM’s conservative calculations, the site will be able to produce around 10,000 batches of product per year in the space.
In an email to Endpoints News, John Lee, VP and head of cell therapy at CBM, said its new one million square foot cell therapy expansion will include 90,000 square feet of GMP manufacturing space as well as offices and warehouse space. Lee also said that the facility’s cost will be in the hundreds of millions, but no exact figure was given. Once completed, this will be one of the largest producers of cell therapy in the world.
“We have leveraged knowledge gained from our current build and forward engineered the facility to enable modularity and to increase efficiency to better serve clients (and patients). Modular suite design across approximately 90,000 square feet of Grade-B GMP space will enable agility and flexibility to accommodate an array of processes,” Lee said in an email.
According to Lee, the site is expected to come online starting in early 2023. Planning for this expansion was originally set to begin in 2025; however, due to the critical lack of cell therapy supplies, CBM is accelerating to add capacity and bring it online as fast as possible.
CBM has a close relationship with The Discovery Labs, as it spun out of the organization in 2021, and has preferred access to expansion capacity from the real estate ecosystem of GMP laboratory and office space. According to Lee, both teams decided to work together and expedite the project to address shortages in the cell therapy supply chain.
“CBM’s mission is one that saves lives, and we are steadfast in our commitment to providing hope for those families in the midst of health-related battles — this decision underscores that commitment,” Lee said.
The site will look to produce different types of cell therapies including CAR-T cells, TCR-Ts, NK cells and Tregs, as well as tissue-derived therapies creating TILs and mesenchymal stem cells. iPSCs and iPSC-derived cell effectors are currently being manufactured at the CBM site.
CBM is used to handling big projects as it has previously received $350 million of equity financing from South Korean conglomerate SK in January and netted London-based Achilles in April to manufacture the T-cell therapy for trial.