The deal – financial details of which have not been divulged – will see PharmaCell provide cGMP manufacturing for a number of potential gene therapies going through the clinical development process from its facilities in The Netherlands.
“PharmaCell has experience and a strong track-record in supporting clients with the transition from clinical to commercial manufacturing,” Alexander Vos, CEO of the contract manufacturing organisation (CMO), told Biopharma-Reporter.com.
“We have done and are doing this for multiple clients [and] have the infrastructure and know how, in terms of facilities, quality systems and staff to take on such projects successfully.”
Orchard’s pipeline includes a therapy for ADA-SCID – a rare inherited disorder of the immune system – and rare neurodegenerative lysosomal storage disease Sanfilippo syndrome type A. Both are being targeted by candidates made using the firm’s ex-vivo autologous gene therapy technology.
The platform consists of genetically correcting stem cells taken from the patient using a lentiviral vector carrying a functioning copy of the faulty gene, and then transplanting them back into the body by IV infusion.
In November last year , Orchard inked an alliance with gene and cell therapy firm Oxford BioMedica for process development services and cGMP-grade manufacture of lentiviral vectors.
“We will work in very close collaboration with Orchard staff to transfer the technology, meaning we will literally work side-by-side with their staff in their facilities to observe as well in our facilities to implement the technology,” Vos said.
PharmaCell has two facilities in The Netherlands; a facility in Maastricht, and a facility in neighbouring city Sittard-Geleen bought from cell therapy firm TiGenix in 2014 for €5.7m ($6m).
“For any project there is some additional investment, but largely we can service the [Orchard] collaboration from our existing resources,” Vos added.