GE and Germfree Collaborate on Modular Manufacturing

September 16, 2019

The venture will focus on single-use and modular systems designed to develop novel biotherapeutics.

GE Healthcare Life Sciences and Germfree are collaborating on new platforms that will combine modular and single-use systems to improve the manufacturing of emerging biotherapies, such as gene therapies. Systems to be developed will be based on GE’s Flexfactory single-use platform and its KUBio prefabricated modular facility options, as well as Germfree’s process-ready cleanroom technology.

Noting that modular capabilities can reduce timelines, lower capital and operating costs, and offer additional flexibility for expansion, Olivier Loeillot, GE’s general manager of bioprocess, expects the collaboration to bring more reliable and scaleable technologies to the gene therapy space, according to a press release the partners issued on Sept. 10, 2019.

Achieving this goal will depend on the availability of deployable, process-ready cleanroom and bioprocessing platforms, explained Carol Houts, Germfree’s vice president of quality and business strategy in the press release. The new partnership aims to develop an integrated and flexible good manufacturing practices (GMP) environment to speed therapies to market and improve the public’s access to personalized therapies.

The initiative with Germfree is one of several initiatives that GE has launched or plans to launch, alone and with partners. So far, the company has sold 4 KUBio facilities and 63 FlexFactory platforms to biopharmaceutical manufacturers. Other recent developments include the following:

In 2019, Bayer broke ground on a new site that will use FlexFactory to make biologic therapies

In 2018, GE and Lonza disclosed plans to develop a biologics center, featuring a KUBio biomanufacturing facility, that will be up and running in 2020.

In 2016, Pfizer announced plans to use KUBio in a new biotechnology center that is based in China.

Source: GE Healthcare