Cell and gene therapy player CBM plots expansion, 2,000 new hires with funding from South Korean partner

artists conception 2019
The Center for Breakthrough Medicines is getting a financial boost from South Korean financial group SK Inc. to build out its manufacturing suite as well as support operations, research and lab work at its Discovery Labs Pennsylvania site. (Discovery Labs)

The Center for Breakthrough Medicines (CBM), a CDMO founded in 2019, is getting financial backing from South Korean financial group SK Inc. to expand its manufacturing capacity.

The two companies didn't disclose a dollar amount, but CBM said it will use the funding to build out its manufacturing suite as well as support operations, research and lab capabilities.

When the expansion is complete, CBM will occupy about 700,000 square feet at the Discovery Labs that are part of what is known as Cellicon Valley in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, a former GlaxoSmithKline site.

The company said it expects to hire 2,000 new employees in the next four years as part of its expansion plans.

“SK has a strong biopharma portfolio, including considerable investments in cell & gene therapy companies creating enormous strategic value for CBM,” Audrey Greenberg, a CBM co-founder, said in a statement. “The SK CBM partnership will bring capacity to a starved CGT marketplace and expedite the delivery of new therapies to patients who need them now.”

CBM’s nonexecutive chairman is Marco Chacon, who sold Paragon Bioservices gene therapy CDMO to Catalent in 2019 for $1.2 billion.

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In early 2020, CBM and real estate development firm MLP Ventures along with Deerfield Management Company said they were partnering to build out 86 plasmid, viral vector production, universal cell processing, CGMP testing, process development and cell banking suites at the Discovery Labs site in Cellicon Valley.