New cell therapy focused CDMO has San Diego blood bank origins

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© GetttyImages/choja
© GetttyImages/choja

Related tags Cell therapy donor Autologous CAR-T Allogeneic

A new California based CDMO has been launched, one that is focused on supporting cell therapy developers.

Built on the foundation of the San Diego Blood Bank (SDBB), Excellos said it is focused on supplying cGMP cellular products and services, together with process development and manufacturing expertise to scientists and clinicians working with cell and gene therapies.  

The contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) also just secured $15M in growth funding from Telegraph Hill Partners (THP).

David Wellis, CEO of Excellos, who was chief executive of SDBB for nine years, commented on the rationale for the establishment of the CDMO:

“The SDBB had been incubating Excellos for a number of years, but fully capitalizing on the rapidly growing opportunity required significantly more resources than the SDBB was able to provide. We will now be able to focus exclusively on the needs of the expanding cell and gene therapy industry through the development of our data-driven platform to enable the characterization of cellular therapeutics starting at the donor level,”​ he continued.

Expansion of capabilities, cGMP suites  

Weighing in on the funding from THP, chief commercial officer (CCO) of Excellos, George Eastwood, told BioPharma-Reporter the company would utilize the capital "to expand our analytical and technological capabilities, while building at least four additional cGMP suites. This will allow us to fulfill our vision of enabling allogeneic therapies through the advanced functional characterization of donors, while providing the data and technological integration necessary to set new standards for the next generation of advanced therapies."

Excellos currently leases space inside the SDBB, which includes a fully operational cGMP manufacturing facility consisting of two cleanrooms.

Additionally, it outlined how it has exclusive access, through the SDBB, to research grade and cGMP materials - leukapheresis and cord blood - that are utilized in the development and manufacturing of advanced therapeutics.

The CDMO also flagged its access to a large donor base: its collection network consists of nine SDBB centers in the San Diego area that see an average of over 70,000 diverse donors annually.

"We can provide a range of offerings that is unique to the industry, ranging from recruitment of donors all the way to final fill and finish under cGMP standards. We aim to provide characterization across the entire continuum, including all the way back to the donor level,"​ said the CCO.

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