MilliporeSigma, the U.S. and Canada Life Science business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, opened its second Carlsbad, CA-based facility to serve gene and cell therapy clients. The new $110 million, 140,000 ft2 facility will more than double the company’s existing capacity to support large-scale commercial and industrial manufacturing for viral gene therapy, in a market expected to grow to $10 billion by 2026.

Genetic mutation, conceptual illustration
Today, most gene therapies target rare diseases, but there is an urgent need to efficiently manufacture these treatments to reach larger patient populations, explained Merck KGaA’s Matthias Heinzel.

“As a leader in viral vector manufacturing, this increase in capacity and scale is the next step in enabling our customers to bring new curative treatments to market,” said Matthias Heinzel, member of the executive board and CEO, life science, Merck KGaA.

Between the two facilities, there are 30 cleanroom suites to support all aspects of manufacturing from small- to large-scale clinical and commercial production, noted Heinzel, who added that the new facility leverages cutting-edge suspension technology to enable scalable and cost-effective manufacturing.

“We are continuing to invest in solving cell and gene therapy challenges in development manufacturing, working alongside drug developers to industrialize, scale, and accelerate the path to deliver therapies to patients,” according to Heinzel.

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