GE Healthcare's 'Cell line agnostic' FlexFactory to boost Turkish biosimilars business

By Dani Bancroft contact

- Last updated on GMT

Image: Cappadocia, Turkey - iStock/standret
Image: Cappadocia, Turkey - iStock/standret

Related tags: Ge healthcare, Biotechnology

Arven will use GE Healthcare’s FlexFactory manufacturing platform to increase capacity at its mammalian-cell based bioproduction facility in Kirklareli, Turkey.

Arven Pharmaceuticals, part of the Toksoz Group, is working on developing biosimilars for various oncology and autoimmune indications, as well as inhalation products for Asthma and COPD.

The Turkish firm says the addition of GE Healthcare’s FlexFactory suite to its 28,000 sq metre facility will help support its biosimilars pipeline.

GE Healthcare acquired​ the biologics manufacturing platform when it bought US-firm Xcellerex in 2012.

Sven Henrichwark, general manager, Global Commercial BioProcess, GE Healthcare told Biopharma-Reporter: “FlexFactory is a cell-line agnostic manufacturing platform. With the right approach during process development, a process for any biopharmaceutical product can be scaled for manufacture using FlexFactory.”

GE Healthcare also has a Fast Trak service center​ in Istanbul, Turkey, which GE claims will allow it to work closely with Arven as part of the service.

“[We will work with] Arven, one of the country’s key biopharma companies, to help deliver increased capacity as well as support Turkey’s growing pharma industry requirements,” ​he added.

Single-use Bioproduction

FlexFactory links single-use​ seed and production bioreactors, such as the Xcellerex XDR 500, to other modules up to a 2000L capacity.

Arven said it was the flexibility of systems in FlexFactory, along with the local technical support, speed, and collaborative work structure which led it to select GE Healthcare’s platform over others.

Heinrichwark explained “FlexFactory gives manufacturers rapid access to cGMP manufacturing capacity for biologics such as MAbs and vaccines, wherever it is needed, with a lower capital investment than traditional facilities.”

Local development

Turkey has said it plans to reshape​ its healthcare sector so that 60% of pharmaceutical medicines are produced locally by 2023.

To achieve this, various Turkish governmental incentives​ have been introduced, such as tax allowances and duty exemptions, to encourage investment into biologics manufacturing and to move away from relying on imports.

Heinrichwark told us “For companies developing biosimilars, there are advantages to being able to manufacture locally. This is true for Turkey, but also other key markets such as China, Brazil, and South East Asia.”

“FlexFactory provides a strong platform for meeting global regulations and quality standards, which can be important when looking to manufacture your biosimilar for multiple markets.”

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