The Lyon, France-based technology and service supplier announced yesterday it was investing €27m ($29m) to build a commercial scale production facility at its site in Seneffe, Belgium to support growing demand for viral vectors from gene therapy, immunotherapy, and therapeutic vaccine developers.
Novasep spokeswoman Sophie Baudouin told Biopharma-Reporter most of the demand is coming from small biotechs, though “Big Pharma also has its own pipeline from internal R&D or acquisition of drug candidates.”
Viral vectors are used to deliver genetic material into cells and according to the firm there are over 300 such products in clinical studies.
Novasep itself has no viral vectors in its portfolio, but the new facility will produce viral vectors by cell culture as a service to drugmakers through two cGMP suites equipped with a set of single-use bioreactors ranging from 200L up to 2000L.
“Novasep has a wide range of expertise and can produce viral vectors from Lentiviruses, Adenoviruses, and Adeno-associated viruses,” Badouin said, and “the new facility will feature full equipment range for commercial production, including a set of bioreactors, filtration and chromatography skids.”
The 2,000m2 facility is expected to be operational in 2019, and according to Badouin will create between 50 and 100 new jobs.
The investment is the latest in the bioprocessing space by the CMO, following investments in its antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) capabilities and chromatography sites and was described as “the new jewel of the set of facilities we have been investing in over the past 5 years” by CEO Michel Spagnol.