Emergent BioSolutions has signalled its intent to expand its gene therapy capabilities by investing USD 75 million in an extension of its live viral vaccine facility in Massachusetts to manufacture viral vectors.
The contract development and manufacturing organisation has bought property adjacent to its Canton facility to increase campus footprint and build out advanced therapy capability.
The investment will add a multi-suite operation to the facility which will add up to 1000L of viral vector capacity and which is expected to go online by 2023.
The firm said the addition of advanced therapy scale to the Canton facility will build upon its biologics platforms and complement existing capabilities related to its smallpox vaccine.
“Emergent’s expansion into advanced therapy CDMO services is based on our biologics expertise and a strong understanding of our customers’ current and future needs,” said Sean Kirk, EVP, manufacturing and technical operations at Emergent BioSolutions.
Emergent said it plans to provide full molecule-to-market CDMO services for viral vector and gene therapy innovators, by offering development services out of its Gaithersburg location, drug substance manufacturing out of Canton, and drug product manufacturing at its Rockville location.
The Rockville plant is in the midst of a recently announced expansion scheduled to be operational at the end of 2021.
Emergent recently signed a USD87 million contract with AstraZeneca to support the manufacturing of the Anglo-Swedish pharma’s viral vector-based vaccine candidate for COVID-19, AZD1222, developed by Oxford University’s Jenner institute working with the Oxford Vaccine Group.