Bayer has teamed with GE Healthcare and Fluor to build a single-use clinical manufacturing plant in Berkeley, California to support its biologics pipeline.
Plans have been laid for a 40,000 square-foot ‘Cell Culture Technology Center’ on Bayer’s existing Berkeley campus in California, set to begin production in 2021. The site already makes products including Bayer’s recombinant Factor VIII treatment for hemophilia A.
At a cost of $150 million (€134 million), the new plant will “enable clinical and launch production of biological therapies,” said Bayer spokesperson Sasha Damouni Ellis, specifically for emerging specialty therapeutics in oncology, cardiology and additional specialty care therapeutic areas.
Around 100 new positions will be created, Damouni Ellis added.
Bayer and GE’s FlexFactory
Bayer said it has contracted Fluor for design and construction, and GE Healthcare for the integration of its FlexFactory technology platform into the Center.
“We’ve chosen to partner with Fluor and GE Healthcare on the Cell Culture Technology Center to leverage their expertise in designing flexible, scalable facilities for the future,” said Damouni Ellis.
GE’s FlexFactory offering is a bioprocess platform using predominantly single-use technology comprising of unit operations connected via single-use tubing sets as well as automated technologies.
Emmanuel Ligner, CEO of GE Healthcare Life Sciences, said Bayer’s choice of FlexFactory to equip the new plant “all comes down to the patient.”
He told Bioprocess Insider: “Both Bayer and GE Healthcare want to bring new molecules to patients faster, to help society by bringing new therapies to market. In January 2018, we started talking with Bayer about those goals and we could offer a complete solution – so we worked quickly to make this agreement where Fluor will build the exterior and all the components inside the building will be provided by GE Healthcare Life Sciences.”
This is the 63rd FlexFactory provided by GE and the third in California.