Abzena invests in new GMP biologics drug manufacturing plant

By Murielle Gonzalez | Published: 16-Nov-2018

CEO announces US$20m investment into the expansion of biologics drug substance and ADC capabilities at new San Diego site

Dr Jonathan Goldman, Abzena CEO, has said that the company has augmented existing 500L scale biologics equipment with US$20m of investment into two new manufacturing suites at 500L and 2000L scale in a new GMP facility in San Diego. The site, Goldman said, will be equipped with Sartorius single-use bioreactors.

“Our company is experiencing significant demand for biologics, ADC constructs and other complex small molecules [or APIs]. We are delighted to commit approximately US$20m to initiate these improvements which will start to become available to customers during 2019,” Goldman said.

Abzena’s existing expertise in cell line development is strengthened with a new ambr 15 automated high-throughput bioreactor in Cambridge (UK). Plus, existing synthetic chemistry capacity is increased with build-out of a fully equipped multifume hood laboratory in Bristol, Pennsylvania, in the US.

Dr Goldman commented: “Sponsors have noted our unique single source high quality integrated solution for biotherapeutics and antibody drug conjugates (ADC) ranging from discovery to phase II scale under GMP. They wish to maintain excellent scientific quality, have a single point of contact and avoid risks of tech transfer.

"We have received many requests to support programs to phase II and beyond. We will continue to deliver industry-leading drug discovery, development and manufacturing services from our world-class, fully-integrated sites in the US and UK.”

New Abzena CFO Richard Milbank

New Abzena CFO Richard Milbank

Goldman explained that Abzena’s antibody drug substance manufacturing solution will be built in two new suites housed in the facility recently opened by Abzena in San Diego. These will contain new Sartorius 500 L and 2000 L single use bioreactors supported by a comprehensive range of scale up and process development equipment. The service will be further complemented by additional cell line development and chemistry capacity.

In addition, Goldman announced the appointment of Richard Milbank as Chief Financial Officer.

Milbank brings a wealth of expertise from senior financial roles in many sectors, including eight years as CFO at NextPharma, an established CDMO.

Headquartered in the UK, Abzena operates two sites in the US and offers a range of complementary services and technologies for the selection, development and manufacture of biopharmaceuticals, products based on antibodies or other proteins.

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