Matica Bio opens CGT plant, with a little help from G-CON and Sartorius

The CDMO’s facility in College Station, TX consists of modular cleanrooms provided by G-CON and technologies supplied by Sartorius.

Contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) Matica Biotechnology opened the 45,000 square-foot facility this week to provide viral vectors and cell-based products to cell and gene therapy (CGT) developers.

The facility is fully financed by Matica’s parent company – though the size of the investment as not been revealed – and built out from an existing shell using modular cleanrooms from G-CON.

Image: Stock Photo Secrets

“Our parent company, CHA Biotech, has produced cell therapies (both internal pipeline and as contractor) for many years,” chief commercial officer Andrew Arrage told BioProcess Insider. “Matica Bio’s facility in College Station, Texas, is its first GMP facility in the US that will provide development and manufacturing support for cell and gene therapies.”

The plant will benefit from PAT technologies, automation software, and single-use platforms supplied by bioprocess vendor Sartorius, after the two firms teamed up in October 2021.

Texas

Matica’s decision to set up operations in Texas was due to several factors, Matica’s CEO Yun Jeong Song told us.

“Texas is a growing bio hub that has attractive benefits including low cost of living, availability of scientific human resources, strong presence of science/engineering focused academia and corporate-friendly policies. In addition to a significant number of biotech companies, large IT companies such as Tesla, HP, Oracle and some foreign companies made TX their home.”

“The Texas life science corridor is full of resources needed for scientific innovation, including over 120 bio companies, global medical networks and a funding program called Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT fund),” Jeong Song added. “Furthermore, Texas is in the middle of the country, easily accessible by our clients from all around the country.”

There is already a robust cell and gene therapy presence in Texas, with fellow CDMOs Lonza and Fujifilm both having major operations in Houston and College Station, respectively. The state has also seen a wealth of new construction products in the sector, including Evolve Biologics’ plant in Sachse, a Masthercell (now Catalent) facility in Houston, and VGXI’s plasmid DNA plant in Conroe.

Despite the large CGT CDMO presence in the sector, Arrage was confident Matica could compete in the space.

“Unlike other players generally focusing on the wider area of biomanufacturing, we are a company composed of experts in CGT averaging 15 years of experience. With real-world experience in advanced therapies, we aim to help deliver high-quality breakthrough therapies faster.”