Bayer invests 250 million USD in new cell therapy manufacturing facility in the U.S.
Bayer AG has opened a new cell therapy production plant in Berkeley, California, USA, to bring cell therapies to patients on a global scale. The USD 250 million investment will support the production of material required for clinical trials and potential commercial launch of BlueRock Therapeutics’ bemdaneprocel (BRT-DA01), an investigational cell therapy currently in evaluation for treating Parkinson’s Disease. BlueRock Therapeutics LP is a clinical stage cell therapy company and wholly owned, independently operated subsidiary of Bayer AG. The new facility will also support the future production of additional cell therapies as Bayer’s cell therapy portfolio advances.
“This new facility ensures our investment 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 President of the company’s Pharmaceuticals Division. “Cell therapies represent an important opportunity to treat diseases differently by targeting the underlying cause or enabling the human body to restore vital functions.”
The new cell therapy facility is part of a transformation at the company’s dedicated biotechnology site in Berkeley, California, where Bayer has invested around USD 500 million over the past five years.
“Manufacturing is an important element in taking the biopharmaceutical sector’s pipeline of cell and gene therapies from the laboratory to patients, and this facility enables Bayer to play a critical role in making that happen,” said Holger Weintritt, Member of the Executive Committee of Bayer’s Pharmaceuticals Division and Head of Product Supply of the Pharmaceuticals Division of Bayer AG. “We’re building on our capabilities in manufacturing the most complex protein therapeutics to drive forward platforms that further enable the industry to bring these new medicines to patients worldwide.”
Bayer’s global biotech organization supports pharmaceutical innovators to transfer their product candidates from the laboratory bench to patient care. The company’s biotech team provides its biologic development and manufacturing capabilities for Bayer’s larger biotherapeutics portfolio, including commercial products and late-stage protein and cell therapies in development. At the same time the company supports third party companies to enable patient trials and commercial launches through its BioPartnering Solutions offerings.
“Having access to this new cell therapy manufacturing facility is important to deliver impactful cell therapies from our development portfolio to patients in need,” said Seth Ettenberg, President and CEO of BlueRock Therapeutics. “Our team is excited to be working shoulder to shoulder with Bayer’s biotech scientists and manufacturing experts as we look to scale up manufacturing for our first investigational therapy, bemdaneprocel for treating Parkinson’s disease, as it advances through clinical trials.”
The new Cell Therapy Launch Facility is among several recent investments to advance Bayer’s biologic pipeline of protein therapeutics, cell and gene therapies including a new Cell Culture Technology Center and Cell Therapy Labs. The new Cell Therapy Launch Facility features flexible, modular space for cell culture, viral transduction and automated filling of cell therapies leveraging Biotech@Bayer expertise in iPSC and CAR-T characterization, process development, analytics and clinical to commercial production.
Beyond Berkeley, the company’s global biotech network includes biologic development, manufacturing science, industrialization and advanced manufacturing engineering teams in Wuppertal and Leverkusen, Germany; and Basel, Switzerland; with a full complement of laboratories and clinical production suites.