Abzena earmarks $5M to bolster ADC, complex biologic services at Pennsylvania site

Abzena, a U.K.-based CDMO, will pump $5 million into its Bristol, Pennsylvania, manufacturing site to help meet growing demand for services surrounding antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) and other complex biologics.

The project will include new lab space, equipment and other upgrades. Additional investments into the facility are expected to be completed during the next year, the company said in a March 27 press release.

ADCs are complex bioconjugates often used to fight cancer. They consist of a potent cytotoxic agent, a stable linker and a targeted monoclonal antibody.

As part of the plant upgrade, the company will add a new system to enhance the purification processes for clinical manufacturing batches that can operate at pressures up to 100 bars, allowing for higher pressure and flow rate capacity, Abzena said.

“The strategic investment into our Bristol site demonstrates our continued commitment to deliver high-quality programs for our customers that offer them the best chances of downstream success,” Matt Stober, Abzena chief executive, said in the release.

ADC manufacturing has become a keen focus of drugmakers in recent months. Since the first of the year, WuXi XDC, Samsung Biologics and Daiichi Sankyo have each announced deals or investments covering ADC production.

In late February, Daiichi said it would spend about 1 billion euros ($1.08 billion) to expanding its production and development site in Pfaffenhofen an der Ilm, near the company’s European headquarters in Munich.

Prior to those announcements, Lonza said in October it would expand ADC manufacturing operations at its Visp, Switzerland, site and create nearly 200 new jobs. That project is expected to grow the CDMO giant’s bioconjugation capacity fourfold.