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Cobra to boost gene therapy and CAR-T capacity through £15m investment

By Gareth MacDonald+

18-Apr-2017
Last updated on 18-Apr-2017 at 15:55 GMT2017-04-18T15:55:44Z

iStock/kirstypargeter
iStock/kirstypargeter

Cobra Biologics has said it will spend £15m ($19m) to increase gene therapy production capacity, citing customer demand and market opportunities.

The contract manufacturing organisation (CMO) will use some of the money to expand viral vector production capacity at its facility in Keele, Staffordshire in the UK.

The firm will also said it will double plasmid manufacturing capacity at its facilities in Sweden, citing demand from customers developing Adeno-associated virus (AAV) and chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell based therapies as the driver.

CEO Peter Coleman told us the expansion was motivated by both customer demand and market dynamics.

He said: “We have existing customers who are moving rapidly to commercialisation in gene therapy and we want to fulfil their needs but we also believe there is a strong demand for our services which will attract new customers.

Gene therapies

The focus on gene therapy is in keeping with other investments and partnerships Cobra has established in recent years.

Last June , for example, the CMO teamed up with UK-based Touchlight to test an AAV vector platform designed to make manufacturing gene therapies for clinical trials cheaper and faster.

Prior to that Cobra partnered with the UK Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) to develop an AAV manufacturing system at the National Biologics Manufacturing Centre (NBMC) in Darlington.

And In April  2015 the firm teamed up with Tecrea to develop vector production methods using the latter’s nanoparticle-based transfection system.

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