Virotherapy manufacturing facility
Vibalogics announced the development of a late-phase clinical and commercial virotherapy manufacturing facility in Boston, Massachusetts, US, in November 2020.
The facility will improve the company’s capabilities to meet the rising demand for the development and manufacturing of complex viral-based products, expanding the company’s global footprint.
Vibalogics was acquired by Ampersand Capital Partners, a private equity company, in May 2019. The acquirer company will invest approximately $150m in the development of the facility, which will generate 100 jobs initially and up to 250 jobs over the next four years.
The plant is anticipated to be operational in the second half of 2021.
The late-phase and commercial virus manufacturing facility will be developed at 1414 Massachusetts Avenue, Boxborough in Massachusetts, located approximately 25 miles away from Boston.
It was a preferable option for the facility due to its access to the life sciences and economic cluster around Greater Boston and was suitable for the plant’s unique requirements.
World-renowned universities such as Harvard, MIT, Yale, Boston College, Wellesley, Boston University and Worcester Polytech are also close to Boston.
The 118,000ft2 manufacturing facility, with 30ft clear space, will be developed using state-of-the-art technology. It is designed for manufacturing commercial quantities of viral vectors such as oncolytic viruses and viral vector vaccines.
The facility will be equipped with a 2×2,000L single-use bioreactor train to enable the production of millions of vaccine doses as well as additional aseptic fill-finish capabilities.
It will support the manufacturing of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), dengue and HIV vaccines, as well as Covid-19 vaccines.
The addition of a late-stage clinical and commercial facility will allow the company to easily transfer the technology of the customers’ products from the early-stage production facility in Germany to the US, providing comprehensive end-to-end solutions from pre-clinical to commercial manufacturing.
Virotherapy production is a complex, multi-stage process. The company utilises its more than 15 years of experience with live viruses, such as herpes virus (HSV), adeno associated virus (AAV), and cytomegalovirus (CMV) for manufacturing.
The company produces viruses in various culture vessels including shake flasks, single-use suspension bioreactors, disposable iCELLis® fixed-bed bioreactors, T-flasks, roller bottles and CellSTACK®, catering to the diverse virotherapy product requirements of customers.
The Germany-based contract development and manufacturing organisation (CDMO) develops and manufactures both cell-based (suspension and adherent) and egg-based viruses. It offers full upstream and downstream processing, analytical testing (including method transfer, development, and validation), and filling / finishing services, primarily developed for the manufacturing of virotherapy.
With a unique emphasis on viruses, live bacteria, and aseptic manufacturing, the company’s 50 workers operate in strict compliance with international good manufacturing practices (GMP) requirements in the state-of-the-art BSL-2, 27,000ft2 (2,500m2) plant in Cuxhaven, Germany.
Vibalogics collaborated with Janssen, a subsidiary of Johnson and Johnson, to provide additional clinical trial material for the lead Covid-19 vaccine candidate being developed by Janssen.
Janssen produces several batches of material in its GMP facility in Cuxhaven, Germany, to produce thousands of doses of a Covid-19 investigational vaccine candidate.
The facility was installed with new equipment, including a new filling line capable of filling and labelling more than 30,000 vials per batch to handle larger clinical batches.
The collaboration will boost Vibalogics’ position in the development of virotherapy worldwide while providing crucial service to its customers to combat SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Colliers International, a global commercial real estate services company, was the advisor to Vibalogics for the long-term lease transaction of the property for the new facility.
Lincoln Property Company, the building owner of the property, also worked with Vibalogics to close the deal.
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