Thermo Fisher expanded plant in Florida and will open a site in Lexington, Massachusetts as part of plans to invest $125 million in its gene therapy capabilities following the acquisition of Brammer Bio.
The life sciences firm has completed a $6 million (â‚¬5.5 million) expansion at its Alachua, Florida facility, doubling laboratory and warehousing capacity for upstream process development and quality control testing of gene therapy products at the site.
â€śThe expansion of this site will allow for more at scale development, enabling better technology transfer to GMP and increasing the probability for success for our customersâ€™ gene therapy products,â€ť the company told Bioprocess Insider.
â€śThe expansion will ultimately enable our customers to bring more advanced medicines to patients.â€ť
The Alachua site has grown to keep up with the high demand for viral vector services as more gene therapies move into and through the clinic.
â€śAs the site has expanded, our headcount has continued to grow â€“ from 100 employees in 2016 to 250 today,â€ť we were told. â€śWe are looking forward to the siteâ€™s continued growth and expanded opportunities for existing employees and the recruitment of new talent throughout 2020 and 2021.â€ť
Alachua was one of two production facilities Thermo Fisher picked up when it acquired Brammer Bio earlier this year. The $1.7 billion (â‚¬1.5 billion) deal added a gene therapy contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) to Thermo Fisherâ€™s life science arsenal.
Weeks later, the firm upped its 2019 capital expenditure guidance to incorporate an extra $125 million earmarked to expand Brammer Bioâ€™s capabilities and grow its viral vector capabilities.
While the $6 million investment at Alachua represents a slim slice of this allotment, Thermo Fisher told us a site in Cambridge, Massachusetts is being expanded and a new viral vector services facility in Lexington, Massachusetts is set to open.
All of these fall under a three-year, $200 million investment program begun by Brammer Bio in 2018, which once completed will give the CDMO over 30 suites for clinical and commercial viral vector supply.