Thermo Fisher will bolster its viral vector manufacturing business through the acquisition of a site in Plainville, Massachusetts.
Since Thermo Fisher entered the gene therapy space by acquiring contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) Brammer Bio in March 2019, the firm has rapidly invested in its capabilities to service the advanced therapy space. This includes an extra $125 million investment in Brammer announced weeks after buying the CDMO, and expansions at sites in Alachua, Florida and Lexington, Massachusetts.
The latest expansion announced this week is a $180 million (€167 million) investment in a new site in Plainville, Massachusetts where the firm plans to construct a commercial viral vector facility.
“This is a new site purchase,” a Thermo Fisher spokesperson told this publication. “The new facility adds 290,000 square feet of space which doubles the company’s commercial viral vector manufacturing capacity to support increased demand for the development of gene therapies and vaccines.”
The facility, expected to be completed in 2022, will include upstream and downstream drug substance suites, fill and finish capabilities, QC laboratories and an engineering laboratory. Equipment will include a range of analytical instrumentation and single-use equipment for manufacturing and testing viral vectors.
More than 200 jobs will also be created.
According to the company, the investment was driven by “strong customer demand for development and manufacture of gene therapies and vaccines.”
Gene therapies continue to be one of the fastest growing areas in the biopharma space and demand for manufacturing capabilities continues to outstrip supply. Like others in the space, Thermo Fisher envisions this demand to carry on and has estimated an annual growth rate of 25% for the foreseeable future.
The Plainville plant forms part of a recently announced $475 million investment across Thermo Fisher’s manufacturing network, which also included a cell therapy development and manufacturing collaboration center in Princeton, New Jersey set to open later this year.
“Thermo Fisher is investing for the long-term to drive growth,” the firm said. “This project is part of the company’s recently announced strategic investments to accelerate biopharma commercialization in the areas of biologics, cell and gene therapy and dug product development and commercialization capabilities.”