Durham, NC-based Heat Biologics, which focuses on developing novel biodefense assets and therapies to modulate the immune system, announced a planned development partnership of its Scorpion Biological Services subsidiary with a private developer, the State of Kansas, and local and university affiliates. The goal is to support the development of a new biodefense-focused large molecule and biologics biomanufacturing facility in Manhattan, KS, which is the home of Kansas State University, its Biosecurity Research Institute, and the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility.

The company intends to use the new 500,000+ ft2 facility for large molecule and biologics manufacturing, with a particular focus on biodefense. In addition to servicing the company’s own product pipeline, it plans to operate as a full-service CDMO to provide third-party manufacturing services on a fee-for-service basis. Once fully operational, the new facility is expected to employ more than 500 individuals.

The design and engineering of the facility is being led by CRB Group, with Realty Trust Group (RTG), a healthcare/ life sciences real estate advisory and development firm, serving as the lead developer on the project.

“We are thrilled and excited that Scorpion has chosen Kansas for this game-changing facility that will have a massive positive impact in our state,” said Governor Laura Kelly. “Being in the center of the country, with quick access to either coast, there is no better state for Scorpion to locate in order to address potential threats to public health.”

“The 500,000 square foot Manhattan facility is being designed to service up to 144,000 liters across 48 bioreactors–powered by a Kansas workforce,” said David Haverson, president of Heat’ Scorpion subsidiary.

“With a model that starts with discovery at our Skunkworx subsidiary in North Brunswick, New Jersey and ends with commercial scale manufacturing here in Manhattan, this facility represents the next stage in our evolution, designed to enable us to combine speed and agility with the full-integration of discovery, development, and manufacturing,” added Jeff Wolf, CEO of Heat.

“The COVID pandemic and recent geopolitical events highlight the urgent need for rapid response to potential biological threats, natural or man-made. Among other intended uses, we believe this facility should enable us to effectively scale production of ANTHIM®, an anthrax antitoxin, for use against a potential anthrax attack per our Elusys acquisition, as well as RapidVax®, a rapid plug-and-play programmable vaccine designed to target a comprehensive range of emerging biological threats.”

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