Cobra Biologics, the gene therapy division of the Cognate BioServices’ group, began a multi-phase  augmentation of its plasmid DNA services as a continuation of its gene therapy services’ expansion project for viral vectors and plasmid DNA. This includes a four-fold increase in HQ (High Quality) DNA manufacturing capacity alongside new clinical and commercial GMP DNA facilities at its European facilities.

The HQ plasmid manufacturing service provides a six-week delivery time for the clinical manufacture of immuno-oncology therapies, e.g., products utilizing AAV, lentiviral vector, and CRISPR technology.

After its acquisition of Cobra Biologics in January 2020, Cognate has positioned itself as a global provider of end-to-end capabilities in the development and manufacturing of cell & gene therapy products, according to Kelly Ganjei, chairman and CEO of Cognate, adding that this expansion is in direct response to the great demand of commercial capacity within the biologics industry.

Ganjei also noted that Cognate BioServices, a CDMO in the cell and gene therapy industry, plans to expand cell and gene therapy manufacturing capacity, laboratory space, warehousing capabilities, and increase office support at its facilities in the US and Europe.

The expansion activities will nearly double the capacity at Cognate’s existing global manufacturing facility and headquarters, located near the Memphis International Airport. In Memphis, Cognate will add two separate facilities–a distribution center to help manage global supply chain needs, and a third site focused on commercial manufacturing capabilities, all totaling nearly 250,000 square feet of space. Construction has already begun on Cognate’s GMP distribution venter and is expected to finalize in early 2021; build out of the commercial manufacturing location will begin in 2021 with the goal of coming online as quickly as possible, noted Ganjei.

“Our expansion plans in cell and gene therapy, in the U.S. and Europe, and the close proximity to global shipping and logistics hubs, provide Cognate BioServices, together with Cobra Biologics, a unique competitive advantage,” he continued. “This is critically important to our clients around the world who are commercializing cell and gene therapies that require rapid turn around and often utilize real-time shipping and handling.”

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