GE Healthcare Life Sciences will open the manufacturing site in the Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst Open Innovation Campus, approximately 50km north of London, in the first half of 2019.
The facility houses 280m² of cleanroom space and accommodates 20 employees. Fibre-based purification products will be prepared in Stevenage before being transferred to the firm’s manufacturing plant in Cardiff, Wales, for additional processing.
GE incorporated the fibre-based platform into its chromatography portfolio in November 2017, when the US-headquartered firm acquired Stevenage-based Puridify.
The technology is comprised of a nanofibre-based material to which ligands are attached to activate the platform for purification.
According to GE, the platform’s novel structure facilitates uniform purification at all scales: “This, in combination with its macroporosity, also gives it strong potential as an enabling technology for the purification of next-generation macromolecular biotherapeutics such as gene therapies, viral vectors and fusion proteins.”
Olivier Loeillot, SVP of GE’s bioprocess division, told us that fibre-based chromatography has the potential to significantly improve speed, flexibility and robustness during purification.
“The fibre-based chromatography technology manufactured in Stevenage is complementary to GE Healthcare’s range of bioprocess purification products and, once commercialised, will be fully integrated into our offering,” he added.
The firm did not disclose cost comparisons between fibre-based chromatography and Protein A – an effective and notoriously expensive purification product.