WuXi boosts cell therapy capacity with new PA facility

By Staff Reporter

- Last updated on GMT

Image: Google Streetview
Image: Google Streetview
WuXi Apptec has opened a facility in Philadelphia offering chimeric antigen receptor T (CAR T) cell therapy manufacturing.

The 45,000 sq ft plant is the third at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, Pennsylvania site and bolsters the Chinese CDMO’s current cGMP cell therapy capabilities which include a 50,000 sq ft facility for allogeneic and autologous cell-based therapeutics commercial manufacturing.

The new plant will focus on cell therapy products that use viral vectors such as CAR T cell therapies offering up large scale production in 2,000L single-use bioreactors.

“Advanced therapies like CAR T-cells and gene therapy vectors offer significant new therapeutic options for cancer patients and those suffering from crippling genetic diseases,”​ said WuXi’s CEO Ge Li in a statement.

“We are pleased to be the forefront of this field, providing our partners with cutting-edge cGMP manufacturing capabilities and capacities."

Spokesperson Sun Liyun was unable to disclose any information regarding demand for such services, or the investment ploughed into the site when asked by this publication. However, the facility is expected to add up to 200 manufacturing and support jobs when fully configured.

Speaking in March 2015​ when commissioned, the firm told this publication the new plant supports growth in the cell therapy industry, which has come from the likes of deals by Kite Pharma and Cardio3 Biosciences​, which has since been renamed Celyad.

Specifically, the new facility will provide manufacturing capability and capacity to meet the rapidly expanding demand around clinical trials and commercialization.

The news comes just weeks after the firm opened a fully disposable perfusion plant in WuXi City​, China – the first part of a $150m biomanufacturing investment which will include a biomanufacturing plant housing fourteen 2,000L single-use bioreactors for batch-fed cell culture.

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