Like many CDMOs of late, Celonic from Switzerland aims to make major breakthroughs in cell and gene therapy – and is taking space in Novartis’ burgeoning life science center to take that work to the next level.
Celonic sews a long-term lease for production and office space in the WST-222 building from a prospective Novartis hub in Stein, Switzerland, dubbed Life Science Park Rheintal. The company will use the 91,500 square feet site prepare production capacity for cell and gene therapy, next-generation vaccines, and “innovative biopharmaceuticals”.
Celonic adds up to 20 clean room suites, plus offices and laboratories for process development, method development and quality control for clients from early stage work to market. It will also sign around 250 new employees to staff the sites, which will be ready for production in the second quarter of 2022.
The company hopes to offer large-scale manufacturing of so-called advanced therapies – drugs derived from genes, tissues or cells – as early as next year, said CEO Konstantin Matentzoglu in a release.
Outside of Stein, Celonic too build manufacturing facilities for gene vectors and cell therapy at its location in Basel, Switzerland, according to the company’s website. The plant will eventually be equipped to handle process development and optimization through to initial commercialization, as well as clinical production.
Celonic joins the Novartis site with 2,000 staff from three pharmaceutical and biotech companies working in research, development and production.
Novartis in February revealed his plans change its Stein production site is a garden of life sciences, with an emphasis on the production of cell and gene therapy. Between 2020 and 2021, the company has invested more than 200 million Swiss francs ($ 218 million) into its locations in Stein and Schweizerhalle.
Drugmakers and CDMOs alike have turned to expanding cell and gene therapy production in recent months. Just this week, China-based Pharmaron agreed to pay AbbVie $ 118.7 million for the Allergan Biologics production plant in Liverpool, UK – driving the cell and gene therapy ambitions that began with the purchase of Absorption Systems in November.
Catalent in February said it would pick up Plasmid DNA specialist Delphi Genetics, accelerated plasmid production at the company’s Rockville, Maryland site. Meanwhile, Bristol Myers Squibb, which has just secured its Breyanzi approval, is building a 244,000-square-foot cell therapy site on an 89-acre campus in Devens, Massachusetts – and those are just a few of the most recent examples.
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