Thermo Fisher Scientific has opened its cell therapy plant located at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).
Bioprocess vendor Thermo Fisher announced its partnership with UCSF in May 2021 to set up a cell therapy facility. The collaboration is part of Thermo Fisher’s contract development manufacturing offering (CDMO) services.
The plant, which is adjacent to UCSF’s Mission Bay campus in San Francisco, is now open and offers clinical and commercial cGMP cell therapy manufacturing services and technology development support. Furthermore, it aims to advance cell therapies for difficult to treat conditions, such as rare diseases, cancer, and other illnesses.
“By bringing increased capacity and our extensive experience with cell therapies to the city of San Francisco, our goal is to accelerate the development of advanced cell therapies at UCSF and with the surrounding life sciences community, which is home to more than 200 biotechnology companies,” Dan Herring, general manager for cell therapy services at Thermo Fisher Scientific told BioProcess Insider.
Initially, USCF’s facility focus will be steered towards treatments for multiple myeloma, glioblastomas, and other cancers by using “updated” methods to chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR-T) and CRISPR technologies. After this, it will focus on therapies for other difficult to treat illnesses.
“The cell therapy space is evolving rapidly and necessitating new partnerships to keep up,” said Herring.
“For UCSF, Thermo Fisher Scientific will deliver a foundation of support systems and technical expertise to help ensure milestone readiness for IND and beyond. Our cell therapy process development and cGMP manufacturing services are integrated with upstream (plasmid and viral vector production) and downstream (cold chain logistics) services to provide a holistic solution for cell therapy innovators globally.”
Cell therapy network
The firm said that a proportion of the $600 million announced in March 2021 would be spent on manufacturing technology and capacity to support the production of cell therapies.
Thermo Fisher has been building its cell therapy offering since March 2020 when it announced plans for a dedicated research development and manufacturing facility in Princeton, New Jersey.
Similarly, in the fourth quarter 2020 results Thermo Fisher announced it would begin the manufacture of plasmid DNA (pDNA) for cell and gene therapies at its facility in Carlsbad, California.
In December, Thermo bought Pitonex, citing its programmable dye technology it said would “accelerate research and development in cell therapy, immuno-oncology and immunology research.”
And in March 2021, Thermo further underlined its interest in the fast-growing cell therapy sector.