Lusk for life: Abzena $60m plant to support Ph III and commercial biologics

Abzena has begun operations at its 50,000 square-foot ‘Lusk’ facility boasting single-use bioreactors up to 2,000 L to support late-stage and commercial biologics.

Contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) Abzena has further expanded its biologics offering, opening a $60 million facility in San Diego, California.

The site houses a process development laboratory, two cGMP manufacturing cleanrooms for 500 L and 2,000 L scale bioreactors, a GMP warehouse, and analytical development and quality control (QC) laboratories.

“We are already operational and have already run our first 2000 L batch all the way through to final formulation,” a spokesperson told us.

Abzena is adding 125 new staff to support the new facility, some of which have already been recruited.

According to the firm, the investment was made on the back of demand from its biopharma partners to support their projects into Phase III and commercial production. Furthermore, the selection of single-use equipment brings flexibility and added safety to the projects.

“Single-use bioreactors help de-risk the manufacturing process by limiting the possibilities of cross-contamination as well as being making the manufacturing process more time-efficient and streamlined,” we were told.

The single-use systems have been supplied by bioprocess vendor Sartorius. Sartorius also supplied Abzena two 500 L bioreactors and one 2,000 L for a previous $20 million expansion at the San Diego site, and in January 2018, Abzena named Sartorius as its preferred bioprocessing vendor within its US operations.

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