- Charles River Laboratories International Inc. is expanding its biologics development capabilities, creating a new 73,000-square-foot facility on Devon Park Road in Wayne, Pennsylvania.
- The company noted in a statement that the Devon Park facility will more than double the laboratory space it currently has available at its Malvern and King of Prussia, Pennsylvania facilities. Some operations at both of those sites will move to Devon Park early in the third quarter.
- Other enhancements to its contract development and manufacturing facilities includes updates in Malvern; Shrewsbury, Massachusetts; Erkrath, Germany; and Ballina, Ireland.
"The high volume of biologics and biosimilars in development has led to a rapid increase in demand for our services," said Greg Beattie, Charles River's head of global biologics testing solutions, in a statement. "The continued expansion of our biologics service portfolio and additional capacity will further enhance our ability to support clients' development efforts from discovery through clinical phases and commercial manufacturing."
Even though small molecule drugs still make up the bulk of industry sales, drug manufacturers are increasingly moving toward large molecule biologics, including biosimilars. These drugs require much longer timelines to manufacture and are significantly more difficult and costly to produce.
Not only is Charles River beefing up its presence in Pennsylvania, but it is also building out several other locations in its global network.
The facility in Malvern, while moving much of its lab space to Devon Park, will get other upgrades, including 2,800 square feet of new clean rooms dedicated for GMP microbial and mammalian cell banking. The addition will increase the company's cell banking capacity at Malvern by 40%, the company said. The improvements are set to be operational by May.
Charles River will also add 4,500 square feet of lab space to its current space in Erkrath, Germany that will include development, transfer and optimization of bioassay methods. The expansion will support stability testing, accelerated stress condition testing and the comparability testing of biosimilar products.