- Aldevron said it will construct three new buildings to expand capacity for biologic products at its 14-acre campus in Fargo, North Dakota.
- The new campus will have enough capacity to produce $1 billion worth of plasmid DNA, RNA, gene editing enzymes and other biologics each year, Aldevron said in a statement Monday, which did not announce any new manufacturing contracts.
- All told, Aldevron expects the operation in Fargo will include almost 500,000 square feet of buildings and could as many as employ 1,000 people.
Aldevron wants to have the "world's most advanced manufacturing platforms for gene and cell therapy."
It's a lofty ambition, but one that would be met with considerable interest. Biologics developers have been increasingly interested in these newer technologies and on the lookout for third-party organizations that can assist in research, development and production.
Aldevron's platform has already attracted one of the bigger-name developers in the space. Earlier this year, the company announced a long-term deal to supply GMP-grade plasmids for Sarepta Therapeutics, which is pursuing gene therapy for the treatment of a rare disorder known as Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
"Our industry is growing exponentially," noted Aldevron's Chief Operating Officer Henry Hebel in the June 3 statement.
Aldevron consulted with regulators, clients and other industry professionals on the design for the expanded campus, according to Hebel. It plans first to build a two-story, 189,000-square-foot facility that will connect to its existing GMP plant and be ready by the first quarter of 2021. By the company's estimates, that space will increase GMP and GMP-Source production capacity by as much as 10 times the current output.
On the docket as well is an 89,000-square-foot, two-story administration and client visit center and a 96,000-square-foot center for R&D, technical operations and training.
The company also intends to add 20,000 square feet of quality control and product storage space to an existing building that it said is the world's largest plasmid DNA manufacturing facility.
CEO Michael Chambers said the new facilities will also be able to produce genetic medicine products such as nanoplasmids and minicircles on a large scale.
The expansion will help Aldevron keep up with competitors, which are also investing in new facilities and buying up companies to bolster their businesses.
Lonza last year opened the doors to a 300,000-square-foot plant that it said is the world's largest site dedicated to cell and gene therapies. And this year, Mastercell announced plans for a new facility in Belgium that will triple the company's capacity.
Also this year, Thermo Fisher Scientific agreed to buy viral vector manufacturer Brammer Bio for $1.7 billion, and Catalent said it would acquire Paragon Bioservices for $1.2 billion to strengthen its gene therapy manufacturing services.