Pfizer announced an additional half billion dollar investment for the construction of its state-of-the-art gene therapy manufacturing facility in Sanford, North Carolina. This facility is anticipated to support the company’s continuing investment in gene therapy research and development.
New York/USA — With the investment in a new gene therapy facility, Pfizer is expanding its presence in North Carolina. The expanded facility is projected to add approximately 300 new jobs to the existing 3600 employees. Recently, the company celebrated the successful completion of the first phase of the project at a ceremony in Sanford, North Carolina.
In addition to its gene therapy operations, the Sanford facility also manufactures components for the company’s vaccine portfolio, including Prevnar 13 and several vaccines currently in the manufacturer’s research pipeline. By expanding its manufacturing footprint in Sanford, the company expects to strengthen its ability to produce and supply both clinical- and commercial-scale quantities of critical, potentially life-changing gene therapy medicines to patients living with rare diseases around the world. Specifically, the new facility is to help advance efforts in manufacturing highly specialized, potentially one-time gene therapies that use custom-made recombinant adeno-associated virus (rAAV) vectors.
The expansion is part of an overall plan to invest approximately $ 5 billion in US-based capital projects over the next several years. Pfizer is expanding its end-to-end capabilities in gene therapy in North Carolina by investing in facilities focused on all stages of research, development, and manufacturing. In the Kit Creek facility, scientists work at a small scale – from two liter flasks up to 250 liter bioreactors — to develop the process that may eventually be used in larger scale manufacturing. This process is optimized at the Chapel Hill facility, where the company continues to work at a 250 liter scale while implementing quality control measures included in GMP, or Good Manufacturing Practice, standards. The focus on these processes, combined with its existing and new additional investment in Sanford to manufacture gene therapies, is designed to result in a high-quality, efficient supply of gene therapies at clinical- and commercial-scale, the company announced.