Bio-Techne investing up to $50M in new plant for recombinant proteins

Rendering of Pfizer gene therapy facility
With drugmakers like Pfizer expanding their cell and gene therapy operations, recombinant protein producer Bio-Techne says it needs a new plant to keep up with demand. (Pfizer)

With gene and cell therapies having become a big focus for drugmakers, suppliers are cashing in. One of those, recombinant protein producer Bio-Teche, says demand is so high it needs to significantly expand capacity to produce materials like E. coli-derived recombinant proteins. 

The Minneapolis, Minnesota-based company says it will invest between $40 million and $50 million for a new plant specifically for large-scale production. It said in its earnings report today that work has begun on the facility. 

RELATED: Gilead's Kite builds cell therapy manufacturing quickly even as Yescarta sales grow slowly

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The company estimates that with the number of clinical trials for treatments based on CAR-T cells, hematopoietic and other stem cells, the current global supply of recombinant protein for cell therapy production and large-scale production of treatments will not keep up with demand.

"As the promising science behind emerging cell and gene therapy applications continues to demonstrate therapeutic effectiveness, the focus must now be on supply and scale,” Dave Eansor, Bio-Techne's president of the protein sciences segment, said in a statement.  

RELATED: Pfizer amps up gene therapy manufacturing with another North Carolina facility

Bio-Techne’s expansion comes as drugmakers like Gilead, Novartis and Blue Bird Bio are all building out their production for approved gene therapies and drugmakers like Pfizer hustle treatments through their pipelines. 

Pfizer, for example, in the last two months has announced more than half a billion dollars in investments in the gene therapy manufacturing facilities it is erecting in North Carolina.

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