With the demand for biologics growing, German CDMO Rentschler Biopharma is anxious to meet it by expanding its presence in the United States.
On Thursday, Rentschler revealed that it's started construction on a new plant in the Boston area. The site is adjacent to a facility Rentschler acquired in 2018 when it made its first move into America.
The new facility will have automated, flexible production lines, allowing for increased commercial production of complex molecules for clients in the U.S. The project adds 22,000 square feet of cleanroom space and will house four new 2,000-liter bioreactors. Rentschler expects the factory to be complete by the end of 2023.
Amid the pandemic, Rentschler has boosted its global profile by helping Pfizer and BioNTech produce their highly successful COVID-19 vaccine by handling downstream purification of manufactured mRNA.
“We have seen firsthand how important it is to have highly adaptable capacity and to have the experience and expertise needed to produce new therapeutic modalities, fast,” Rentschler CEO Frank Mathias said in a release.
Flexibility is key to the design of the new site as it'll support future adaptations for scale and capacity. The highly-automated facility will have advanced analytics yield optimization, virtual reality-enabled operations and no-touch batch releases, Rentschler said.
Rentschler’s initial move into the U.S. came when Shire sold its 100,000 square foot biologics plant in Milford, Mass., to the CDMO. Rentschler has since expanded the site's capabilities, and has sought to expand its U.S. presence further.
In March, the company named Martin Kessler its CEO for business operations in America.
Family-owned Rentschler has roughly 1,000 employees and is headquartered in Laupheim, Germany. It also has launched a subsidiary in Stevenage, England, dedicated to cell and gene therapy production.