MilliporeSigma said today it will nearly double the production capacity of its Carlsbad, CA, site, citing growing demand for viral and gene therapies.

The cost of the expansion was not disclosed by MilliporeSigma, the name under which Merck KGaA operates its life science subsidiary in the U.S. and Canada.

Carlsbad is MilliporeSigma’s flagship site for viral and gene therapies offered under the SAFC brand. The site will remain fully operational throughout the expansion, the company said.

The facility will grow from 44,000 square feet to 65,000 square feet and feature 16 modular viral bulk manufacturing cleanroom suites, two fill/finish suites, and twice the warehouse capacity.

MilliporeSigma said the expansion will increase its Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) capacity by nearly 90% and position the company to support customers from clinical to commercial scales. The expanded facility will be complemented by company resources that include cell-banking services in Rockville, MD, viral and gene therapy manufacturing capacity in Glasgow, Scotland, and global BioReliance® biosafety testing.

The expansion will incorporate single-use equipment in a flexible, scalable format for clinical and commercial bulk drug production, the company added.

Facilities at Carlsbad include segregated fill/finish capacity for gene therapy and viral vaccine and immunotherapy products.

MilliporeSigma and the rest of Merck KGaA’s life science business employs 19,000 people and operates 72 manufacturing sites worldwide, with a portfolio of more than 300,000 products.