The Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research (IBBR) has invited biomanufacturers looking for a pilot plant within Maryland’s biotech corridor to apply to lease a former training plant.
The 9,100 square-foot plant located just northwest of Washington DC in Maryland has been used by the IBBR to carry out GMP training and education programs but is now being offered to biotech and biomanufacturers by the institute, which is a collaboration between the University of Maryland and NIST.
According to Viqar Aslam, the director of Business Development and Strategy at IBBR, the decision to let the site will maximize the use of the space for its intended purpose: a pilot scale GMP manufacturing and training and education within Maryland’s’ Biotech corridor.
“Demand for this type of space was highlighted this year, when Baltimore gene therapy provider Paragon Bioservices bought a portion of Novavax’s manufacturing business in Montgomery County, and as other companies from outside of Maryland, from London-based Autolus Therapeutics to Los Angeles-based Kite Pharma have recently located their headquarters in the BioHealth Capital Region. The success in cell-based therapies (CAR-T) in clinical trials is the driving force,” he told Bioprocess Insider.
The facility is equipped to perform process development research, pre-clinical manufacturing for material necessary to conduct IND-enabling toxicology studies, Point of Concept (POC) studies, and process demonstration in advance of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) manufacturing. It is also supported with utilities, maintenance contracts, and facilities management.
According to Aslam, IBBR expects to attract firms “in need of or developing: bacterial or yeast fermentation and mammalian cell culture to manufacture products such as therapeutic proteins, CAR-T cell therapies, monoclonal antibodies, vaccines, cytokines, DNA plasmid vaccines, or nanotechnology-based products.”
Some of the factors to consider in an application include an Economic Development Impact report stipulating how many jobs may be created, as well as showing a preference for the manufacture of product candidates developed by IBBR and University of Maryland.
“As a translational research institute, it’s important to work with Industry partners. Potential involvement with IBBR research and training and education programs currently conducted at the institute is an important factor,” Aslam told us.
“An agreement would be determined based on any proposed capital improvements to the facility, the company’s projected economic impact, and any research collaboration with IBBR and the university, among other factors.”
Companies have until September 30 to submit proposals for the plant and can schedule a tour of the facility via the IBBR’s website.