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Gene therapy campus in Maryland to get $230M expansion

Pharmaceutical company Catalent on Tuesday announced a $230 million expansion of a gene therapy campus in Maryland.

As part of the expansion, according to a news release, Catalent will add three more commercial-scale viral vector manufacturing suites and associated support facilities and services at its gene therapy campus in Harmans, near Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport in Anne Arundel County, to meet growing demand.

More than 700 new technical, scientific, and operational employment positions will be created over the next six years as part of the expansion, according to the release.

The roughly 350,000-square-foot Harmans campus includes a fully operational facility composed of 10 commercial-scale manufacturing suites, and a second facility is under construction after an initial $130 million investment by Catalent in 2020. That second facility, which will add five manufacturing suites, is expected to be operational in mid-2022.

According to the release, the $230 million expansion will include three more multiroom commercial suites and expanding the site’s storage capabilities for just-in-time inventory space, ultra-low temperature freezers, and its water-for-injection infrastructure. When complete at the end of 2022, the campus will house a total of 18 CGMP viral vector manufacturing suites, each designed to accommodate multiple bioreactors up to 2,000-liter scale and enable the execution of commercial manufacturing from cell bank to purified drug substance. Other facilities, including multistory parking and an on-site cafeteria, are planned as well.

“Catalent is committed to continuous improvement and growing with our customers’ futures in mind. This necessitates that we consistently incorporate our own learnings and the latest developments in CGMP manufacturing into our new and existing facilities and operations, to help assure quality and de-risk processes,” Catalent Cell & Gene Therapy President Manja Boerman, Ph.D., said in the release. “By applying the expertise we have gained from the last three years of operating our flagship gene therapy commercial facility, we are able to continue to expand our campus with a design layout that is innovative, efficient, and provides ultimate flexibility for our customers.”

The Harmans campus is part of Catalent’s Maryland-based network of gene therapy, plasmid DNA and oncolytic virus facilities that offer horizontally integrated solutions to support advanced therapy programs from gene to clinic, the release states.

Somerset, New Jersey-based Catalent, which aims to enable pharma, biotech, and consumer health partners to optimize product development, launch, and full life-cycle supply for patients around the world, has a workforce of over 17,000 and generated $4 billion in revenue in the 2021 fiscal year.

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