Facilities & Capacity

NorthX Biologics takes over Charles River Swedish plant

NorthX Biologics will take over Charles River’s manufacturing subsidiary Cobra Biologics including its facility in Matfors, Sweden through $52 million acquisition. Seven months on from Charles River Laboratories $875 million acquisition of Cognate Bio (Cognate acquired Cobra Biologics in November 2019) the firm has offloaded one of its Cognate assets, selling a plant in Matfors, Sweden to private investor group Flerie Invest in an acquisition worth $52 million. The entity has been named North X Biologics and the 7,000 square-meter…

Novartis to make 24m doses of Pfizer vaccine from Slovenian plant

Novartis will further support production of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine through fill-finish capabilities at its Ljubljana, Slovenia site. Earlier this year, Swiss pharma giant Novartis signed an agreement to provide aseptic manufacturing services from its Stein, Switzerland, to support the production of Pfizer and BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine. The arrangement was described at the time as part of the “unprecedented level of collaboration” occurring across the industry, and nine months on such collaboration continues, with Novartis signing a new agreement to…

PTC opens gene therapy NJ plant

PTC Therapeutics has opened its gene therapy manufacturing facility in Hopewell, New Jersey set to support production and research operations. PTC leased the facility in July 2020 and has since invested around $20 million at the site to develop a biologics plant that supports gene therapy research and production. Now, the 220,500 square-foot facility is open and consists of office, manufacturing, and laboratory space. According to the firm, the Hopewell facility can handle process development and manufacturing services for PTC’s…

Cellectis unveils NC plant, adding in-house capabilities

Cellectis has opened its clinical and commercial manufacturing facility in Raleigh, North Carolina making it a one-stop-shop company, says firm. France-headquartered Cellectis announced plans in March 2019 to construct a clinical and commercial production plant in Raleigh, North Carolina at a reported cost of $68 million to support its allogeneic universal chimeric antigen receptor t-cells (UCART) products. The 82,000 square-foot facility has been operational for a couple of months but Cellectis did an official opening earlier this month. The gene editing…

Fujifilm breaks ground on 160,000 L mammalian plant in NC

Fujifilm Diosynth’s CEO Martin Meeson sees no slowdown in demand for CDMO capacity across all modalities as work begins on a $1.8 billion mammalian cell culture plant in North Carolina. In March, contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies selected Holly Springs, North Carolina as the site of its latest addition to its biomanufacturing network. Construction began last week on the ¥200 billion ($1.8 billion), and once operational in 2025 it will offer biopharma customers 8 x 20,000…

Touchlight doubles funding and breaks ground on DNA facility

Touchlight has received the first phase of planning approval for its manufacturing facility in Hampton, UK and extended its funding round to $125 million. Hampton, UK-based firm Touchlight announced in March it had raised £42 million ($58 million) through a fundraising round led by Bridford Investments Limited, which would see the firm expand its London facility. Now, the company has extended its fundraising to a total of £92 million ($125 million) on the back of increased demand for its synthetic…

MilliporeSigma opens $110m gene therapy plant

MilliporeSigma has opened its second Carlsbad, California-based facility to support large-scale manufacturing for viral gene therapies. The life sciences services division of Merck KGaA, MilliporeSigma, announced its plans to invest $110 million to construct a second facility at its Carlsbad site in April 2020 as part of its gene therapy contract development manufacturing organization (CDMO) business. Now the firm has opened its doors to the 140,000 square-foot facility, which MilliporeSigma says will more than double its capacity to support large-scale industrial…

Months after Cognate buy, Charles River divests plasmid DNA plant

Charles River says the divestment of a plasmid DNA CDMO facility in Sweden will help optimize its business and does not signify a U-turn in its cell and gene therapy strategy. In February this year, Charles River Laboratories agreed to pay $875 million in cash to acquire Cognate BioServices. The deal propelled the biopharma services firm into the contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) space, adding a network of cell therapy and plasmid DNA manufacturing facilities. The deal went through…

Sheffield University to build gene therapy facility

The construction of a gene therapy facility in Sheffield, UK will advance scientific discoveries into treatment options for patients, says University. The Gene Therapy Innovation and Manufacturing Centre (GTIMC) is one of three hubs, which are part of an £18 million ($24 million) network funded by the Medical Research Council (MRC), LifeArc, and supported by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC). The other two hubs are located at Kings College London and NHS Blood and Transplant in Bristol…

Avid turns to viral vector production on back of strong CGT growth

CDMO Avid Bioservices will expand its biomanufacturing services to include viral vector development and production, investing up to $75 million in a California facility. Biologics contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) Avid Bioservices revealed today to build a 53,000 square foot viral vector development and GMP manufacturing facility in Costa Mesa, California at a cost of between $65 million to $75 million. The facility, which could be operational within two years, will initially support projects up to 200 L using…