Bayer has opened a new cell therapy manufacturing facility in Berkeley, California, USA, to offer cell therapies to patients worldwide. The $250 million investment will be used to produce material needed for clinical trials and the potential commercial launch of BlueRock Therapeutics’ Bemdaneprocel (BRT-DA01), a cell therapy currently being evaluated for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. is needed. BlueRock Therapeutics focuses on cell therapies and is a wholly owned, independently operated subsidiary of Bayer. The new facility is intended to support the future production of additional cell therapies as part of the expansion of Bayer’s cell therapy portfolio.
“This new facility ensures that our investments in cell therapies can become a reality for patients around the world,” said Stefan Oelrich, Member of the Board of Management of Bayer AG and Head of the company’s Pharmaceuticals Division. “Cell therapies represent an important opportunity to treat diseases in fundamentally different ways, by targeting the underlying cause or enabling the human body to restore vital functions.”
The new cell therapy facility is part of the transformation of the biotechnology site in Berkeley, California, in which Bayer has invested around $500 million over the past five years.
“Manufacturing plays an important role in bringing cell and gene therapies in the biopharmaceutical sector from the laboratory to patients. Our new facility enables Bayer to play a crucial role in this,” said Holger Weintritt, member of the Executive Committee Pharmaceuticals and Head of Product Supply in the Pharmaceuticals Division of Bayer AG. “In doing so, we are building on our capabilities in the production of complex protein therapeutics. We can realize platforms that enable the industry to deliver these new medicines to patients around the world.”
Bayer’s global biotech organization supports pharmaceutical innovators in bringing their product candidates from the laboratory to patient care. The biological development and production capabilities of the company’s biotech team will be used for Bayer’s extensive biotherapeutics portfolio, including commercial products and protein and cell therapies in late-stage development. At the same time, the company uses its BioPartnering Solutions to support third-party companies in conducting patient studies and launching them on the market.
“Access to this new cell therapy manufacturing facility is important to bringing effective cell therapies from our development portfolio to patients with high unmet medical needs,” said Seth Ettenberg, President and CEO at BlueRock Therapeutics. “Our team looks forward to working shoulder-to-shoulder with Bayer’s biotech scientists and manufacturing experts to scale up production of our first investigational drug, bemdaneprocel, for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, through clinical trials.”
The new cell therapy facility is among Bayer’s latest investments to advance its biological portfolio of protein therapeutics, cell and gene therapies, including a new cell culture technology center and cell therapy laboratories. The new facility offers flexible, modular spaces for cell culture, viral transduction and automated filling of cell therapies and leverages Biotech@Bayer’s expertise in iPSC and CAR-T characterization, process development, analytics and clinical to commercial production.
Beyond Berkeley, the company’s global biotech network includes biological development, production science, industrialization and advanced manufacturing engineering teams in Wuppertal and Leverkusen, Germany, and Basel, Switzerland, with fully equipped laboratories and clinical manufacturing facilities.
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