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Cobra Biologics expands gene therapy manufacturing operations

peter-coleman

Cobra Biologics has announced the company’s expansion of operations at its sites in UK and Sweden.

Over the next two years Cobra will invest up to £15m (165m SEK) on a phased expansion plan, supporting the company’s R&D expertise in developing rapid and cost effective viral vector and DNA plasmid production platforms. The initial phase, will be in the UK and will extend the company’s viral vector Phase III and commercial manufacturing capabilities to support more customers to advance their products through clinical trials to in-market supply. The second phase, in Sweden, will double capacity for High Quality (HQ) DNA plasmid production and characterisation, essential for supporting early clinical phase Adeno-associated virus (AAV) and lentivirus manufacture being used by pioneering CAR T-cell therapy companies targeting acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) and chronic lymphocytic leukaemia.

The third phase of investment will see the addition of larger clinical and commercial capabilities for GMP DNA production. In total, it is anticipated these investments will create up to 50 new jobs, in addition to the 135 jobs already created in the UK and Sweden since 2011 and will also benefit the wider supply chain companies which provide Cobra with services and facilities.

Peter Coleman, CEO at Cobra Biologics, said: “For almost 20 years Cobra has been manufacturing DNA and viral vectors for its gene therapy customers and we intend to stay at the forefront of this exciting field. Cobra is committed to investing for both present day needs and for the future at this extraordinary time in the history of gene therapy when so many new and potentially life-changing medicines are in the pipe line. Many of these new products have orphan drug status and as a CDMO, we need to respond with a quick and seamless production route to market.”

“Sweden is very competitive in life sciences. It is therefore gratifying to be able to welcome the investments announced by Cobra Biologics. Strengthening the life sciences sector’s opportunities to grow, employ and export products and services will pave the way for more skilled jobs in Sweden. It will also contribute to solving societal challenges in health and ageing. Of special interest is the fact that this investment is made in gene therapy, which is an important area for successful treatment of future patients,” commented Mikael Damberg, Sweden’s Minister for Enterprise and Innovation.

Peter Coleman, CEO, Cobra Biologics.

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