GE and Germfree in modular gene therapy manufacturing collaboration

GE Healthcare has teamed with cleanroom production firm Germfree to develop a modular biomanufacturing facility for emerging biotherapeutics and gene therapies.

Bioprocess vendor GE Healthcare is no stranger to modular manufacturing platforms, with the likes of Bayer, Pfizer and Lonza all opting for its off-the-shelf KUBio platform modular biologics factory. Furthermore, to date 63 manufacturers have selected the firm’s FlexFactory bioprocess platform, which uses predominantly single-use technology.

And now the company has partnered with Florida-based Germfree to co-develop a new offering within the KUBio range designed specifically for emerging biotherapeutics and gene therapies.

The concept of modular facilities. Image: iStock/photoart23D

“GE Healthcare and Germfree are developing a modular biomanufacturing environment, which can be located wherever it is needed by manufacturers of novel therapies. The solution is an addition to the KUBio modular facility offering, providing a smaller environment,” GE spokesperson Claudia Pricop told this publication. “The solution supports a variety of bioproduction technologies, including gene therapy.”

The combined tech is due to launch at the end of October, though until then financial details of the deal and the offering cannot be divulged.

With Big Biopharma and contract development and manufacturing organizations (CDMOs) investing in modular facilities in both established and emerging markets, the interest in off-the-shelf plants has never been higher.

And as the biopharma market continues to grow with both smaller biotech companies and big pharma are exploring new areas like gene therapy, modular solutions will only become more common.

“Novel therapies require smaller batches, which implies a need for smaller biomanufacturing solutions. Through our collaboration with Germfree, we will provide manufacturers of biotherapeutics with mobile modular environments,” said Pricop.

“We recognize the growth of the market and its ever-changing dynamics. We support the developments in the market with solutions that fit the specific needs of manufacturers of biotherapeutics.”

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