Manufacturing roundup: Lonza finishes expanding Visp site; CBM to produce jCyte’s cell therapy
Lonza has opened the doors to an expansion at one of its primary locations.
The expansion occurred at Lonza’s highly potent API (HPAPIs) suite at its core manufacturing site in the city of Visp, Switzerland. The expansion adds room for the development and manufacturing of Lonza’s ADC products, which are becoming more popular.
“We expanded our HPAPI capabilities at our Visp site to meet the growing demand for ADCs. This demand is driven by the need for improved anticancer therapeutics with fewer side effects. Although every component of the ADC is essential to its therapeutic activity, the payload is the one that kills cancer cells.
“These payloads are almost always small molecule highly potent APIs,” said Giovanna Libralon, senior director for commercial development of small molecules at Lonza in a statement to Endpoints News.
While the exact cost and size of the facility were not disclosed to Endpoints, Libralon did state that the project is expected to generate more jobs, however, no hard numbers were given.
The Center for Breakthrough Medicine to manufacture jCyte’s cell therapy
The Center for Breakthrough Medicine (CBM), a CDMO specializing in cell and gene therapy, has landed a multi-year contract to produce jCyte’s cell therapy.
The deal will have CBM produce the materials for the biotech’s Phase III and manufacture the project once it gets BLA approval. It will also provide CMC work for jCtye as it goes through the regulatory and commercial phases for its treatment.
The biotechs therapy is designed to treat patients with retinitis pigmentosa (RP), a rare genetic disease mainly found in children that can lead to vision loss. The therapy also has an RMAT designation from the FDA.
“We have made tremendous progress in advancing our innovative cell therapy program to this key stage of clinical development, and CBM’s broad manufacturing capabilities, dedicated and experienced team, flexibility to fit our needs, and ability to provide fully dedicated manufacturing suites and analytical testing services tailored to our final drug manufacturing process made them an ideal partner to support our program,” said Shannon Blalock, jCyte CEO in a statement.
More funds going toward large-scale cell and gene therapy manufacturing in Canada
Manufacturers in Canada are receiving a funding boost to get cell and gene therapy manufacturing on a wider scale.
Next Generation Manufacturing Canada (NGen) will contribute $10.5 million to a $34.8 million project led by OmniaBio and its partners. The project aims to develop technologies for the manufacturing of cell and gene therapies in Canada and five biotechs have been brought on to the initiative.
The project is designed to have partnering companies advance cell and gene therapy programs to move to commercial production. The effort will try to prove that Canada can handle large-scale cell and gene therapy manufacturing. However, the partnership has not disclosed when production is expected to progress forward.
The investment will however provide a resource to provide training in this particular kind of manufacturing to the wider workforce.
“This investment in critical biomanufacturing infrastructure ensures that we will be able to leverage our strengths in research and technology, build a work-ready talent pipeline, and provide the right conditions for our domestic CGT ventures to scale up in Canada,” said Jayson Myers, CEO of NGen, in a statement.
OmniaBio announced earlier this year that it is building a $580 million cell and gene therapy manufacturing center in Hamilton, Ontario.
Thermo Fisher partners up with a regional organization to increase life sciences in the Philadelphia area
While Thermo Fisher has been busy opening new plants, its next move sees it partnering to invest in future life science initiatives.
The company has partnered with the Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center (PABC) to sponsor its new campus in Doylestown, PA, a suburb of Philadelphia. Thermo Fisher will provide expertise and technology to biotechs at the campus and another incubator run by PABC.
“Through their incubator sites, PABC can accelerate the path to commercialization, and our investment ensures that these companies start with the commercial-scale technologies and workflows that will be required as they move from R&D to the clinic,” said Abhinav Akhoury, VP of corporate accounts at Thermo Fisher, in a statement.