With $71M investment, French CDMO Yposkesi set to double capacity and become a viral vector force

viral vector
With viral vectors in demand, French CDMO Yposkesi is doubling its production capacity thanks to a $71 million investment from SK Holdings. (Harvard University)

With demand for viral vectors far exceeding supply, manufacturers are rushing to fill the void. Count French CDMO Yposkesi among them.

On Tuesday, the five-year-old company unveiled a plan to build a second commercial cell and gene therapy plant to enhance its ability to produce viral vectors and serve biologic drugmakers.

Boosted by investment in March from new majority equity shareholder SK Holdings, Yposkesi will pour $71 million into the 50,000 square foot site. The investment will double the company’s manufacturing capacity and provide Yposkesi with one of the largest gene therapy biomanufacturing complexes in Europe.

In a burgeoning field, it's no wonder Yposkesi has dubbed the expansion SKY. These days, it seems the sky is the limit in viral vector manufacturing.

“Yposkesi has the world-class skills and expertise, ambition and drive to be among the global leaders in gene therapy manufacturing,” said Morad El Gueddari, who heads up the project. “SKY is the key to getting us there.”

Yposkesi broke ground on the new facility three weeks ago. It is collocated with the company's current site in Corbeil-Essonnes, 17 miles south of Paris.

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With the expansion, Yposkesi will add 80 new employees. The new factory will feature two production lines, several 1000-liter bioreactors, drug substance production suites and more.

In all, the project will give Yposkesi the ability to deliver a range of services from “early clinical development through all phases of manufacture of large-scale commercial batches,” Yposkesi’s chairman Alain Lamproye said in a statement.

With gene therapies and COVID-19 vaccines straining global capacity in recent months and years, viral vector manufacturing services have been in high demand worldwide.

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Currently, there are 14 gene therapies, gene-modified cell therapies and recombinant vector vaccines approved worldwide. Over the next six years, analysts with Global Data expect 100 or more such therapies to flood the market.    

It all adds up to a ready market and big business for CDMOs which can scale up quickly. To that end, Yposkesi expects its new site to be ready for inspection and approval in 2023.