Cobra Biologics will inject $19 million into facilities located in the U.K. and Sweden to help the CDMO meet increased demand from gene and immunotherapy companies, the company said.
The expansion is expected to take place over a two-year period to support the company’s R&D activities in developing faster and more cost-effective viral vector and DNA plasmid production platforms. The first phase is slotted for its plant in Keele, England, and will expand the facility’s viral vector phase 3 and commercial manufacturing capabilities.
Phase two is scheduled for its plants in Matfors and Södertälje, Sweden, to double the capacity for high-quality DNA plasmid production and characterization, which is used by CAR T-cell therapy companies targeting acute lymphoblastic leukemia and chronic lymphocytic leukemia to support early clinical phase adeno-associated virus and lentivirus production.
The last phase will expand Cobra’s clinical and commercial capabilities for GMP DNA production.
“Cobra is committed to investing for both present day needs and for the future at this extraordinary time in the history of gene therapy when so many new and potentially life-changing medicines are in the pipeline,” Peter Coleman, Cobra’s CEO, said in a statement. “Many of these new products have orphan drug status and as a CDMO, we need to respond with a quick and seamless production route to market.”
The company expects to create an additional 50 new jobs with the expansion on top of 135 jobs it’s added since 2011. Cobra has manufactured DNA and viral vectors for almost 20 years.