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Rebecca Lumley
28 Jun 2022

Charles River opens new UK manufacturing facility to support cell & gene development

Image: The site of Charles River Laboratories' new facility at Alderley Park in Cheshire, UK

The new facility is set to quadruple the company's HQ plasmid DNA capacity 

Charles River Laboratories has opened a new facility in Cheshire, United Kingdom to bolster its end-to-end capabilities in cell and gene therapy development. 

The company says its High Quality (HQ) Plasmid DNA Centre of Excellence, located at Bruntwood SciTech’s Alderley Park, will quadruple its HQ plasmid DNA capacity and safeguard future supply for cell and gene therapy developers. According to a statement released today, additional manufacturing slots will be available from September 2022.  

The 16,000 square foot facility features 11 additional suites offering multiple independent processing streams and dedicated areas for product fill finish activities, as well as complementary capabilities including quality control labs for onsite monitoring and release. 

According to Birgit Girshick, Chief Operating Officer at Charles River, the expansion aligns with the company’s goal of creating a global network that fast-tracks the process of bringing therapies to market. She said: ‘In order to address the exponential growth of the cell and gene therapy market, we will continue to broaden our reach and capabilities to meet the growing demand. Our Alderley Park expansion is one of multiple ongoing initiatives to support our global clients from discovery to delivery.’ 

Nick Smith, the Alderley Park Site Director, added: ‘Our team has had decades of success developing, producing, and reliably delivering plasmid DNA, which ensures customers are in safe hands. Alderley Park is an impressive life sciences hub with a thriving ecosystem and Charles River is excited to be a part of the community.’ 

Charles River is a prominent player in the gene therapy space, having struck several deals to bolster its pipeline in recent years. In March 2021 the company acquired CDMO Cognate BioServices and its gene therapy division Cobra Biologics to support its end-to-end gene therapy solution.  

Last month the company expanded its agreement with ASC Therapeutics and announced plans to manufacture ASC618, a second-generation gene therapy for hemophilia A.  

Rebecca Lumley
Digital Editor - Pharma

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