Bluebird buys NC manufacturing site but will continue to use CMOs

By Dan Stanton

- Last updated on GMT

Bluebird Bio has bought a plant in Durham, North Carolina. GettyImages/Sean Pavone
Bluebird Bio has bought a plant in Durham, North Carolina. GettyImages/Sean Pavone

Related tags Gene therapy North carolina Viral vector

Bluebird bio has acquired a North Carolina manufacturing facility to produce lentiviral vectors for its cell and gene therapy candidates.

The acquisition sees bluebird bio add a 125,000 square foot manufacturing facility in Durham, North Carolina in its pursuit to bring production of its T-cell and gene therapy candidates in-house.

“The North Carolina manufacturing site will complement our important external manufacturing partnerships,”​ chief manufacturing and technology officer Derek Adams said in a statement.

“By simultaneously establishing multiple lentiviral vector manufacturing partnerships and pursuing in-house manufacturing, bluebird is uniquely positioned to adeptly, robustly, and reliably provide our current gene and cell therapy products in development, as well as future pipeline therapies to patients in need.”

The Masachusetts-headquartered firm has a number of gene therapies in clinical stage development including Lenti-D for the treatment of cerebral adrenoleukodystrophy, and LentiGlobin BB305 for the treatment of transfusion-dependent β-thalassemia.

Currently the firm has been relying on third-party manufacturers. Specifically: Brammer Bio, Novasep, and MilliporeSigma for the production of lentiviral vector across all its programmes, and Lonza and apceth Biopharma for the production of Lenti-D and LentiGlobin drug product.

The in-house site will not disrupt these multi-year contracts, the firm said, but rather increase its manufacturing footprint as it advances multiple products into late-stage development and potential commercial launch.

“Expanding in-house expertise, creating an extensive manufacturing network, and increasing manufacturing capacity ensures that bluebird can deliver on the promise of these product candidates,”​ the firm said.

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