The new manufacturing facility is designed to cover an area of 3,220ft² and feature a good laboratory practice (GLP) viral vector FlexFactory


Image: GE Healthcare, UMMS to open Viral Vector manufacturing facility. Photo: Courtesy of mwooten from Pixabay.

GE Healthcare (GEHC) Life Sciences and the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS) have joined forces to open a large-scale Viral Vector manufacturing facility.

The new facility is planned to be established on the UMMS’ Worcester campus, and is expected to provide large quantities of high-quality recombinant adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors for preclinical research.

GE Healthcare Life Sciences cell and gene therapy general manager Catarina Flyborg said: “Accelerating research that brings novel cell and gene therapies to patients is the mission of our business.

“By partnering with UMass Medical School to create this large scale AAV manufacturing facility, we will provide researchers with the tools and AAV needed for pre-clinical research that will advance the cell and gene therapy industry and get therapies to patients faster.”

The new AAV manufacturing facility will prevent delays in preclinical research

The new facility is designed to cover an area of 3,220ft2 and feature a good laboratory practice (GLP) viral vector FlexFactory. Four to six professional staff will be appointed to manage the every-day operations.

According to the company, lack of large-scale viral vector manufacturing facilities is the main constraint that limits the preclinical research capabilities, since it takes 12 to 24 months for researchers to secure vector for their research.

Its proposed large scale AAV manufacturing facility, which is expected to be fully operational in 2020, is claimed to mitigate the blockages that prolong the start of preclinical research.

In addition, the facility will enable researchers to access the processing equipment and the assistance of professional staff at the facility to conduct their research faster.

UMMS School of Medicine dean and paediatrics professor Terence R Flotte said: “The potential of gene therapy to treat human disease has finally become a reality. However, the ability to move the field forward to treat additional serious diseases remains limited by the efficiency and flexibility of producing gene therapy vectors suitable for testing in new disease models.

“Our partnership with GE Healthcare addresses this critical challenge. The strength of this academic-industry collaboration between two of the commonwealth’s leaders in this field gives us a great deal of optimism that we will overcome this challenge.”