The Center for Breakthrough Medicines (CBM) and Discovery Labs respond to the critical shortage of cell therapies by accelerating plans to build capacity to produce over 10,000 patient therapies.
The plant expansion at CBM’s King of Prussia, Philadelphia, which was initially outlined to begin planning in 2024-2025, has now been started due to “the critical lack of cell therapy supply,” a spokesperson for CBM told us.
“We are also seeing shortages for already approved products, long waitlists, and doctors being forced to choose which of their patients get the scarce CAR T manufacturing slot for their treatment center. We want to make sure there is capacity available when many of the products now in the clinic become commercial.”
The spokesperson said, “there is no timetable established yet […] but CBM is working to bring everything online as expeditiously as possible.” Additionally, the plant will produce cell therapies across various indications, which include oncology immunotherapies and regenerative medicine applications.
According to CBM, the facilities will be engineered with modular designs with the ability to adapt a range of cell types, manufacturing processes, and capacity demands to optimize efficiency while reducing costs. Furthermore, the company says it will introduce rapid autologous production, automated processes, and high-fidelity gene-editing competences before the facility comes online.
While the financial cost has not been determined, CBM said the expansion of its cell therapy manufacturing suites is anticipated to cost hundreds of millions of dollars over the next few years. Additionally, the company claim it will be the largest in the world with the ability to treat more than 10,000 patients annually.
“By bringing this unprecedented capacity online as quickly as possible, patients and families can get the cures they so desperately need through groundbreaking treatments manufactured at CBM,” Audrey Greenberg, co-founder and chief business officer at CBM said.
CBM said it anticipates hiring around 1,000-1,500 employees but it “depends on new technologies [that] we will assess during the planning process,” said the spokesperson.
CBM is collaborating with various academic institutions and companies to drive different modalities, lower costs, smaller timelines, and scale manufacturing of approved therapies so that more patients can receive treatment.