PBL opens doors at UK bio-development centre

By Dan Stanton

- Last updated on GMT

UK politician and leader of the Wiltshire Council unitary authority Baroness Scott opened PBL's Atkinson Development Centre last week. Image c/o Porton Biopharma Limited
UK politician and leader of the Wiltshire Council unitary authority Baroness Scott opened PBL's Atkinson Development Centre last week. Image c/o Porton Biopharma Limited

Related tags Acute lymphoblastic leukemia

Porton Biopharma has opened a biologics characterisation and development facility at its site in the UK.

The Atkinson Development Centre was officially opened on Friday, adding 400 m2​ of laboratory space, plus associated plant room at Porton Biopharma Limited’s (PBL) biomanufacturing site in Salisbury, UK.

“This is a developmental facility that undertakes work to support ongoing research and development into improved characterisation of current and pipeline products,”​ Commercial & Marketing manager Phil Luton told this publication.

The centre includes a bank of four 20 litre process-controlled fermenters and an additional 50 litre bioreactor that will enable parallel studies on the growth and scale-up of a range of microorganisms under a variety of conditions.

Material made in the fermenters will then be transferred to downstream processing laboratories for the purification and analysis of the compounds.

As well as being used for PBL’s own product portfolio – which includes Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia drug Erwinase (asparaginase Erwinia chrysanthem) marketed by Jazz Pharmaceuticals, and the UK’s anthrax vaccine – the firm will offer its capabilities to academia and industry as a third-party service.

In January​, the firm was hit by a US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warning letter citing deficiencies relating to aseptic operations at its manufacturing plant.

PBL is currently undergoing a remediation plan, with Luton telling us: “We have a comprehensive Compliance Action Plan to address the concerns raised by the FDA.”

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