GE Healthcare building Swiss cell processing kit plant

GE Healthcare Life Sciences says a single-use kit plant it is building in Grens, Switzerland will serve cell and gene therapy firms in the EU and beyond.

The 7,360 square meter facility will be located in Grens near the French border. According to GE Life Sciences the facility will meet global regulatory requirements.

A spokesperson told us: “The new site will manufacture the single use kits for Sepax and Sefia cell processing systems and will allow us to increase our manufacturing capacity and scale as needed.

Image: Unsplash/eberhard grossgasteiger

“We are also expanding our R&D team at the site so that we may develop the enhanced solutions our customers need to bring new therapies to the market.”

The spokesperson added that “our Swiss operations are critical to our success in Cell and Gene Therapy, both for our products and the expertise of our staff. This new facility will expand and grow our current operations and is also well located to serve our European customer base.

Automation in demand

The Sepax and Sefia systems are designed to automate processing steps during cell and gene therapy development.

The spokeswoman explained that, “Single use kits are designed to be used with Sepax and Sefia cell processing systems.

“Through the use of a separation chamber manifolded to cell bags, these kits enable a variety of protocols including Cellwash, Culture Wash, Adipose protocols, Dilution, cell harvesting and expansion.”

Beyond manufacturing

GE has hired Dutch-Swiss firm Nemaco to design and build the facility, which is scheduled to be fully operational by 2022.

In addition to manufacturing capacity the facility will also house a centre of Excellence for cell and gene therapy manufacturing.

According to GE the facility will also serve as a base for European customer training and educational initiatives.

The facility will not be the first combined manufacturing and training centre GE has set up. In December, the firm announced its intention to build a single-use bioprocessing training facility in Guangzhou, China.

Prior to that GE teamed up with with Ireland’s National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training (NIBRT) to train biopharmaceutical engineers.

It has also partnered with the Jefferson Institute for Bioprocessing (JIB) and the University of Technology Sydney, Australia to develop training facilities.