Stellar Biotech starts expansion project at its protein production plant

Cancer cells image
Stellar Biotechnologies makes a key protein used in the development of a number of immunotherapies. (Max Pixel/CC0)

Stellar Biotechnologies, which makes a key protein used in the development of a number of immunotherapies, is expanding its manufacturing facility at Port of Hueneme in California.

The company said its production expansion includes 10,000 square feet of renovated space for its aquaculture production as well as other improvements.

Stellar manufactures a medical-grade protein called KLH which is made in aquaculture from a marine mollusk—the Giant Keyhole Limpet. It is used in developing immunotherapy drugs targeting Alzheimer's, lupus and cancers, among other diseases.

"We are preparing our infrastructure to support pharmaceutical industry standards for commercial drugs, including purity, controls and traceability," Frank Oakes, Stellar’s president and CEO, said in a statement. "By staging these investments, we can prepare the business for growth while minimizing upfront costs.”

In addition to the planned expansion at Port Hueneme, which is located near Los Angeles, Stellar said it is looking to set up operations in Baja California that would include the development of regional marine resources, aquaculture and raw material processing.