Manufacturing & Production

Astellas opens $100 million US-based production plant

Astellas Pharma has completed construction of $100 million gene therapy manufacturing plant located in Sanford, North Carolina, US. The facility will support clinical- and commercial-scale manufacturing of adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors for gene therapies.
The new 135,000 square foot facility is a standalone facility expected to create 200 new jobs, Astellas shared.
“Our new manufacturing facility symbolises our company's continued dedication to the advancement of novel life-changing gene therapies for patients with severe diseases and a significant unmet need, as well as our commitment to the Sanford community,” shared Mathew Pletcher, an Astellas senior vice president and division head of Gene Therapy Research and Technical Operations at Astellas Gene Therapies.
Astellas Pharma is a Japanese multinational pharmaceutical company. The company’s $100 million investment in the site will support global supply chain needs, and in-house quality control testing. The move represents part of Astellas’ push into gene therapies, which has also included a $120 million down payment on Xyphos.
Xyphos, an early-stage biotech, has engineered the NKG2D receptor to be inactive until it comes into contact with a bispecific, a trigger the company intends to use in CAR T therapies.
The completion of the manufacturing facility also follows a $20.5 million partnership with GO Therapeutics, to develop antibodies with high affinity to two different targets.
Speaking further on the new production plant, Pletcher continued: “This new facility is a key enabler of our mission to develop safe, effective, and transformative gene therapies as swiftly as possible. Sanford’s manufacturing capabilities will allow us to produce materials for multiple programs in parallel, as opposed to in sequence, and offer commercialscale manufacturing ability to any future approved therapies.”