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The new 40,000-ft2 facility will support Bayer's growing biologics portfolio in oncology, cardiology, and additional therapeutic areas.
On May 9, 2019, Bayer announced it will invest $150 million in its pharmaceutical development and manufacturing site in Berkeley, CA, to build a cell culture technology center that will be used to accelerate biological therapy development.
The new center will be built on the company's existing Berkeley campus, home to its recombinant factor VIII manufacturing center that produces hemophilia A treatments. The new 40,000-ft2facility is expected to be ready for clinical production in late 2021 and will support the development of emerging therapies in the company’s biologics portfolio with an emphasis on oncology, cardiology, and additional specialty-care therapeutic areas. Bayer has selected engineering firm Fluor for design and construction and GE Healthcare for the integration of its FlexFactory technology platform, a biomanufacturing platform based on single-use technologies, into the center.
"Bayer's [c]ell [c]enter [t]echnology [c]enter will combine automation, digital capabilities, and single-use bioprocessing technologies to streamline production to allow us to bring new medicines to patients faster," said Judy Chou, PhD, senior vice-president and global head of Bayer Biotech, in a company press release. "We've chosen to partner with Fluor and GE Healthcare on the [c]ell [c]enter [t]echnology [c]enter to leverage their expertise in designing flexible, scalable facilities for the future."
"Fighting cancer on all fronts requires fast and scalable innovation, as well as solutions based on digital insights," said Emmanuel Ligner, president and CEO of GE Healthcare Life Sciences, in the release. “We are delighted to work with Fluor to offer our FlexFactory platform to help Bayer quickly and easily establish development and production capacity in oncology and other therapeutics."
Additionally, the company states that in 2017, it focused its pharmaceutical strategy around key specialty care therapeutic areas and has recently increased its R&D focus. The center will support candidates in the company’s drug pipeline and enable the development of new assets resulting from a range of collaborations.
"Bayer is deeply committed to bringing innovative medicines to market that provide significant patient benefit. This investment allows Bayer to expand our biologics development and launch capabilities, as we advance our R&D programs internally and through strategic collaborations," said Wolfram Carius, PhD, executive vice-president and head of Bayer pharmaceuticals product supply, in the release. "We are especially proud to bring this investment to Berkeley, where Bayer has been for many years, and to the greater San Francisco Bay Area, the birthplace of biotechnology and a global epicenter of drug development innovation."