Yposkesi begins construction of second cell and gene facility

By Ben Hargreaves

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/marchmeena29
© GettyImages/marchmeena29

Related tags cell and gene therapy bioreactor lentiviral vector

The CDMO invests €58m in additional facility that will double the overall size of its production space.

Yposkesi, a French contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) specializing in cell and gene therapies, announced that it would commence building a second facility focused on commercial manufacture.

The site will be built with €58m (US$71m) of investment that will add 5,000m2 of manufacturing space to the company’s current capacity, creating a total production surface space of 10,000m2.

Once operational in 2023, the facility will add around 80 jobs to its current location in the Genopole Campus in Corbeil-Essonnes, France, bringing the total headcount across the company to approximately 260 employees.

The plans for the new site ​were begun in 2017, with Yposkesi stating that the expansion was driven by rising demand in the cell and gene therapy space.

The facility will house two additional production lines with several 1,000L scale bioreactors.

Alain Lamproye, the company’s executive chairman, told BioPharma-Reporter that the capacity will be utilized for large-scale clinical or commercial projects.

He also confirmed that the bioreactors housed at the facility will be single-use and will be used for the production of lentiviral vectors and adeno-associated viruses, in conformance with European Medicines Agency (EMA) and US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulation for current good manufacturing practice (cGMP).

Regarding the facility itself, which the company described as ‘ultramodern’, Lamproye stated: “The design of the manufacturing suites allows a very high plant throughput (up to 20 batches per year, per suite), with a lot of flexibility to accommodate different technologies (for both upstream and downstream processes). This will enable Yposkesi to work with different types of client requests.”

Alongside the production capabilities, the facility will include a centralized warehouse, capacity for media, solutions, and mountings preparation, as well as drug substance production suites and stores, and quality control lab resources.

Backed by new equity shareholder

According to Yposkesi, the investment was made possible through the backing of SK Pharmteco. The latter contract manufacturing organization (CMO) became the majority shareholder of Yposkesi in March of this year, when it acquired a 70% stake in the company.

When asked if further expansion would be made possible through SK Pharmteco’s backing, Lamproye commented only that the California-headquartered company was “committed”​ to investing and developing Yposkesi’s location in Corbeil-Essonnes, with further investments to be “decided in the future”.

SK Pharmteco is in itself a subsidiary of SK Holdings, a South Korean conglomerate that has been steadily building outs its presence in the pharmaceutical sector through acquisitions, such as its purchase of Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Irish API plant​ in 2017. Its investment in Yposkesi represents its first foray into the biologics space.

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