The firm said it will use the 43,000 square-foot facility – which houses good manufacturing practice (GMP) cleanrooms – to identify neoantigens for certain cancer indications.
“The company’s initial goal is to leverage deep learning to identify and deploy therapeutic neoantigens from individual patients’ tumours to develop novel treatments for lung and gastric cancer,” the firm said in a statement.
Gritstone will also use its antigen discovery platform to identify targets for shared antigen immunotherapies, it added.
“We plan to initially focus on tumour types with the highest mutational burden including, but not limited to, non-small cell lung, gastric and bladder cancers,” the firm said.
Gritstone is focusing on a series of tumour-specific neoantigens which it believes are a new class of immune targets for advancing cancer immunotherapy. After identifying the appropriate anti-tumour immune response neoantigens, the firm places them in its proprietary delivery vehicle and administers them to a patient to generate tumour-specific T-cell responses against the neoantigen to destroy the tumour.
Gritstone expects the first candidate to be manufactured at the facility for clinical trials by mid-next year.
The company said it would “ramp up” its headcount at the facility over the next six months.
Gritstone is currently advertising for positions in quality assurance, regulatory affairs, and manufacturing at the Pleasanton, California-based site.