AGC Biologics, a leading global biopharmaceutical development and manufacturing company, is expanding its Longmont campus as part of a $30 million plan to broaden the facility’s capabilities.
AGC Biologics bought the state-of-the-art Longmont facility in August 2021. It was previously owned by Novartis Gene Therapies.
AGC announced this week that it is adding vector suspension technology and capacity at the Longmont campus for the development and manufacturing of gene therapies.
Gene therapy is a medical approach that treats or prevents disease by correcting the underlying genetic problem. Gene therapy techniques allow doctors to treat a disorder by altering a person’s genetic makeup instead of using drugs or surgery, according to MedLinePlus.
The new capabilities, which begin coming online in the third quarter of 2022, complement the campus’ viral vector and cell therapy offerings, according to an AGC news release. This will enable AGC Biologics to provide an in-depth variety of end-to-end cell and gene therapy services at the Longmont site, the news release states.
“This investment helps AGC Biologics address the needs of gene therapy developers at our new central location in North America,” said Patricio Massera, CEO of AGC Biologics in the news release. “When you combine these new capabilities with the technical expertise at our Longmont campus, with our Milan facility’s lentiviral vector platform and its expensive gene therapy CDMO experience, we can now support virtually any viral vector program being developed anywhere in the world.”
North America has historically been home to more advanced therapy and regenerative medicine developers than any other region worldwide, the news release states. The 2021 Q3 Cell & Gene Therapies Market Outlook report from industry standard research (ISR) revealed viral vectors are the most common thing a drug developer needs from a CDMO. This expansion more than doubles the site’s viral vector capacity, and helps AGC Biologics meet these market demands.
The viral vector suspension expansion is a part of a more than $30 million investment by AGC Biologics in its new Longmont campus. The new suspension capabilities include a full complement of bioreactor sizes for product development, and a complete range of commercial manufacturing capacities, enabling the site to provide support for the entire lifecycle of a product, the news release states.
“The suspension expansion helps us offer the most impactful, efficient and scalable technologies for bringing viral vector-based gene therapy products to market,” said Tony Fraij, General Manager, AGC Biologics Longmont, in the news release.
“This latest investment helps us round out the services we offer at this campus. Now, with a full suite of capabilities and the extensive expertise of our scientists, we can support virtually any type of viral vector or cell therapy development and manufacturing project,” Fraij said.
After acquiring the Longmont campus in August 2021, AGC Biologics quickly appointed Fraij, a 20-year veteran with experience leading operations at several global life science organizations, the news release states. The company previously acquired a cell and gene therapy site in Milan, Italy from MolMed S.p.A. in 2020.
The AGC Biologics Milan team’s technical expertise will play an important informative role in launching the new viral vector capabilities in Longmont. In just a few short years the company built a strong global cell and gene therapy network of services, capabilities and scientists. AGC Biologics is one of only a few CDMOs with end-to-end cell advanced therapies on two continents, the news release states.