Oxford Biomedica buys UK plant to cut reliance on CMO

By Gareth Macdonald

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Manufacturing Future

Oxford Biomedica has bought RecipharmCobra Biologics’ manufacturing facility in Oxford, UK, to reduce its reliance on third-party production of its gene delivery technology.

The plant, which is changing hands for £1.9m, will provide Biomedica with production capacity for its LentiVector technology, which is used in a number of in-house candidate drugs and is the subject of a number of licensing deals, including one with French drugmaker Sanofi Aventis.

UK-based Biomedica said it will pay for the facility and its future £2.2m a year running costs with the proceeds of a £20m (€23m) fund-raising round that it undertook in December last year and anticipated that the deal will close later this month.

Spokeswoman Lara Mott told Outsourcing-Pharma.com that: “The acquisition will reduce our reliance on our current CMO and facilitate the rapid implementation of improved manufacturing processes at increased scale.”

Mott declined to name Biomedica’s current contract manufacturing organisation (CMO), but did say that the facility is “already configured to meet our manufacturing requirements.”

The plant is expected to take at least 12-months to recommission and, when fully operational, will employ between 35 and 40 people in a variety of manufacturing and operational roles.

Divestiture

The 16,000sqft Oxford facility has not been operational since Recipharm’s acquisition of previous owner, UK-headquartered contract biomanufacturing firm Cobra Biologics, in December​ 2009.

VP of Biologics, RecipharmCobra Biologics (RCB) Simon Saxby told Outsourcing-pharma.com the decision to sell was based on a review of manufacturing capacity that accompanied the launch of the company in February​ last year.

“Once we had established that the combination of the Sodertalje and Keele facilities gave us the increased scale and flexibility that we would need for the foreseeable future, and that if an additional facility was required in the future it would be a commercial scale facility, it was decided that we would look to sell the Oxford facility.

Saxby added that: “With the sale of the Oxford facility there is one position at risk of redundancy - that of our UK training manager who is based in Oxford. That position is now under review​.”

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