WHP Starts Construction of Oxford BioMedica Viral Vector Manufacturing Facility

February 21, 2019

An existing building is being converted into Oxford BioMedica’s new facility.

Multi-disciplinary engineering company WHP has secured the design, construction, and project management contract for the development of a new viral vector manufacturing center for gene and cell therapy company Oxford BioMedica, WHP said in a Feb. 21, 2019 press release. Construction has started on the new facility, which is being established in a former Royal Mail sorting office in Oxford, UK. Phases 1 and 2 of the expansion comprise the conversion of the building into GMP cleanroom suites and fill-and-finish production areas, as well as offices, warehousing, and quality control laboratories.

WHP is responsible for the design and build, including testing and validation. The design includes a full, three-dimensional building information model, including cleanroom architecture; heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC); mechanical and electrical systems; and process and critical utilities systems.

The areas have been designed in full compliance with Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency regulations and conform to ISO cleanroom standards. This design includes the use of zoned HVAC systems to maintain segregation, cleanliness, air pressures, and other environmental controls.

WHP previously designed and installed the original pilot plant for theLentiVector delivery platform at Oxford Biomedica’s Yarnton premises in 2015. 

Oxford Biomedica announced the expansion of its manufacturing capacity to create the 82,398-ft2facility near its headquarters in Oxford in a Sept. 13, 2018 press release. Once open, the facility will more than double the group’s bioprocessing capacity. The plan is to open the new offices and warehouse in the first quarter (Q1) of 2019, with the additional GMP suites being ready in Q1 2020. This new facility will create up to 100 new, highly skilled positions over the next two years. 

Sources: WHPOxford Biomedica