Orgenesis has begun building a 30,000 square-foot cell and gene therapy manufacturing plant in Houston to be run by its CDMO subsidiary MasTherCell.
Late last year, cell therapy contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) MasTherCell essentially doubled its capacity through the opening of a 6,500 square foot wing at its site in Gosselies, Belgium.
Now the firm is looking to bring its services to the US through the construction of a 30,000 square foot manufacturing facility in Houston, Texas.
According to Vered Caplan, CEO of Orgenesis, MasTherCell’s parent company, the Texas site will allow the CDMO to be truly global, complementing the Belgium site along with facilities in Israel and Korea, run by MasTherCell divisions Atvio-Biotech and CureCell, respectively.
She told BioProcess Insider the site in Houston will be similar to the Belgium site in terms of set-up and is likely to take about 12 months before it is active.
Caplan added that Texas was chosen as a location due to its access to highly-talented staff as well as its geographical position within the US.
“These cells do not travel very well, and being located in Texas, in the middle of the US, allows us to reach all the US nicely,” she said. This helps to minimize the logistics complications associated with cell therapies.
The site has been funded in part through $25 million of investment from MasTherCell’s strategic partnership with Great Point Partners. The private equity firm holds a 30% stake in the CDMO.
Earlier this month, Orgenesis announced its financial results for the fiscal year ending November 30, 2018. For the year, MasTherCell generated $22.6 million in sales with an operating profit of $4 million, the firm said.