Double biologics expansion for CMOs Gallus and Cytovance

By Fiona Barry

- Last updated on GMT

(Picture credit: Cytovance)
(Picture credit: Cytovance)

Related tags: Cell culture, Biotechnology

Contract manufacturers Cytovance and Gallus have both invested millions of dollars in expanding their biologics-manufacturing facilities.

Gallus BioPharmaceuticals is investing $5m (€3.7m) into its biologics process development facility at its headquarters in St Louis, Missouri, just two years after its last expansion.

The laboratory includes Ambr, a micro bioreactor made by TAP Biosystems. The equipment mimics normal bioreactors at microscale (10-15ml), using a series of disposable bioreactors controlled by an automated workstation.

TAP claims it enables rapid simultaneous evaluation of multiple cultures, increasing cell line productivity.

Gallus said it bought the machinery “in response to the rapidly growing need for optimizing the yields and purity of complex biotherapeutic molecules.​” Ambr “allows Gallus to develop robust, high-producing cell culture processes for our clients while reducing time lines and meeting regulatory expectations,​” said Matt Caple, director of cell culture development.

The 200,000 sq ft St Louis site was acquired from Centocor in 2011. In 2012, Gallus invested $20m (€14.8m) in its first expansion, increasing its process development laboratories and introducing equipment to make monoclonal antibodies.

Gallus acquired Laureate Biopharma​ in September 2013. CEO Mark R. Bamforth said “Gallus is now supporting five of the top fifteen pharmaceutical companies and a growing number of emerging and mid-sized biotechs in bringing new molecules to the clinic.​”

Big and small pharma demand

In other news, Cytovance has broken ground on a multi-million dollar extension two miles north of the company’s headquarters in Oklahoma City. When completed, it will house a 20,000-sq ft GMP warehouse and manufacturing will take up 10,000 sq ft. The project is being realised by Capstone Construction and is expected to be completed by June 2014.

Cytovance’s senior VP of manufacturing operations said the latest warehouse would have space for incoming and released materials, as well as for storing items in quarantine.

"The additional manufacturing space will provide Cytovance with future expansion space to quickly meet our clients' contract manufacturing requirements,​" continued Don Wuchterl. 

Cytovance’s latest expansion comes a year after it first moved into manufacturing biologics from mammalian cell culture and microbial fermentation. Its core site has since acquired a 1,000L microbial fermenter, an automated fill/finish machine, and a 2,500L stainless steel bioreactor.

CEO Darren Head told us at the time​ the company was experiencing demand for biologics manufacture “mostly from small pharma and from virtual companies who secured funding both for Big Pharma and Venture Capital to move their products through the clinic.​”

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