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Cell & Gene Therapy Insights

Cell & Gene Therapy Insights

Pfizer invests $500 million in new gene therapy facility in Sanford, NC

Pfizer’s investment in gene therapy continues as it invests half a billion dollars to construct a state-of-the-art gene therapy manufacturing facility in Sanford, North Carolina.

The new site, which is projected to add approximately 300 new jobs, will support the research and development and manufacturing of gene therapies, like its Chapel Hill and Kit Creek R&D sites in North Carolina.

By expanding its manufacturing capabilities in North Carolina, Pfizer aims to strengthen its ability to produce and supply both clinical- and commercial-scale quantities of gene therapies to people living with rare genetic diseases. Specifically, the new facility will help advance Pfizer’s manufacturing capabilities in recombinant AAV vector manufacturing.

Pfizer’s investment in gene therapy started in 2014 when it signed a deal with Spark Therapeutics for hemophilia gene therapy. At the same time, it also started a dedicated gene therapy research center in London, known as the Genetic Medicines Institute. The company also has several ongoing academic research agreements, including one with King’s College London and another one with the University of Iowa Research Foundation. In addition, Pfizer has also entered into collaboration with Molecular Therapeutics to discover and develop next-generation rAAV vectors for cardiac disease.

In 2016 Pfizer acquired Bamboo Therapeutics to develop AAV-based gene therapies for central nervous system and neuromuscular disorders. In 2017, Pfizer entered into a global collaboration and license agree¬ment with Sangamo for developing gene therapies for neurodegenerative diseases. Earlier this year, it secured an exclusive option to acquire Vivet Therapeutics, a privately held biotech based in France. The collaboration focuses on developing a gene therapy for Wilson disease.

The Kit Creek facility focuses on process development where scientists work from 2L to 250L bioreactors. The process is optimized at the Chapel Hill facility where researchers work at a 250L scale while implementing quality control under GMP standards. With the latest addition of the new Sanford facility, Pfizer intends to expand its end-to-end capabilities in gene therapy.

Mike McDermott, President of Pfizer’s Global Supply commented: “This investment will further strengthen Pfizer’s leadership in gene therapy manufacturing technology. The expansion of the Sanford site is expected to create hundreds of highly skilled jobs, which would increase Sanford’s high-tech manufacturing environment and is part of our overall plan to invest approximately $5 billion in US-based capital projects over the next several years”.

Source: Pfizer injects $500M more into gene therapy manufacturing; News

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