Arranta Bio splashes $100M into 'microbiome' CDMO capacity with new Massachusetts facility

Drugmakers are making major investments in a gut bacteria field that could top $1 billion in 2025. (Pixabay)

With the microbiome market set to expand to more than $1 billion in the coming years, contract manufacturers across the board are putting big down payments on capacity for live therapies that target gut bacteria. Now, a fledgling CDMO is splurging to make its name in that blossoming field.

Microbiome CDMO firm Arranta Bio has completed construction on a new "commercial-ready" manufacturing facility in Watertown, Massachusetts, as part of a $100 million expansion effort spread across 2020, the company said this week. 

The CDMO's plans include building the new plant, which can handle late-stage clinical and commercial clients, as well as expanding capacity at its early clinical-stage facility in Gainesville, Florida, Arranta said in a release.

According to its website, Arranta specializes in producing therapies known as live biotherapeutic products (LBPs) that target the bacteria, fungi, viruses and more that live on or in the human body—what is known as the microbiome. The company formed in 2019 after merging with Captozyme, a "pioneer" in the microbiome therapy manufacturing space, Arranta said.

An Arranta spokesperson could not be reached for comment by press time. 

RELATED: Lonza JV to produce live biotherapeutic products for gut bacteria field

Arranta isn't the only CDMO working in this space as other big players have joined the field in recent years. 

In April 2019, Swiss CDMO Lonza formed a $105 million, 50/50 joint venture with Denmark’s Chr. Hansen in hopes of becoming the go-to contract provider for LBPs. The venture aimed to be the first CDMO globally to provide a full supply chain to manufacture bacteria strains for therapeutic use.

All told, the market value of supplying clinical and commercial supplies for the LBP industry could reach $1.2 billion by 2025, the venture partners said at the time.

RELATED: Australian CDMO Luina Bio plots biologics manufacturing upgrades big and small

More recently, Australian CDMO Luina Bio said it plans to bump its clinical and commercial manufacturing of LBPs as part of a broader biologics effort.

Earlier this month, the Queensland-based company unveiled plans to build a 107,639-square-foot, late-stage clinical and commercial biologics production facility by the end of 2021, according to a release. The plant will come equipped with five production lines, expected to shorten manufacturing time on multiple-strain biologic drug projects.