Dendreon makes leap to become cell therapy CMO

By Ben Hargreaves

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/marchmeena29
© GettyImages/marchmeena29

Related tags: Cell therapy, Prostate cancer, CAR-T

Dendreon pivots to become a contract manufacturer of late-stage cell therapies, centered on its Seal Beach facility.

Dendreon Pharmaceuticals announced that it had created a contract manufacturing and services division to produce late-stage clinical candidates through to commercialization. The company stated that it would be able to offer end-to-end manufacturing of cell therapies for its clients.

The move marks a shift in focus for the company that has experienced a number of changes over the last few years. Previously, the company had seen its manufacturing capabilities reduced under previous owners​, only to be then bought out by Nanjing Xinbai and enter into an extended decade-long lease agreement​ for its California, US, manufacturing site.

Prior to launching the contract manufacturing division, much of the company’s work had been focused on Provenge (sipuleucel-T), a cell therapy treatment for patients with advanced prostate cancer. Dendreon manufactures the treatment itself and is one of four companies producing cell therapies for commercial use in the US.

Manufacturing capacity

As a result of this manufacturing experience, the company believes it is well-positioned to function as a contract manufacturing organization (CMO) focused on cell therapies for other companies out of its 180,000-square-foot facility, located in Seal Beach.

A spokesperson for Dendreon confirmed to BioPharma-Reporter that the site holds capacity to support ‘numerous partners’, after investing in its existing infrastructure during 2021. The facility will act as Dendreon’s ‘contract manufacturing services hub,’ the spokesperson added.

Alongside this, the company will utilize its Seattle facility as a process development and manufacturing sciences center, and its Union City, Georgia, facility also has the capacity to support additional partners.

As for the reasons behind the change in strategy, the company stated that there is currently insufficient capacity to meet industry demand for cell therapy manufacturing and it is able to meet this market need. The contract manufacturing division will ‘play a key role’ in the company’s future growth plans, Dendreon stated.

In terms of what Dendreon will provide to its clients, the spokesperson described how the company’s CMO division will “fill an expertise gap​” in the cell therapy market and that it would be able to provide “the most comprehensive offering​” in the sector.

In terms of the types of product Dendreon will manufacture, the company announced that it would look to establish partnerships to develop CAR-Ts, autologous, or allogeneic cell therapies.

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