US-based oncology firm Lion told BioPharma-Reporter that a number of vendors were evaluated in Europe, and that PharmaCell’s location and proximity to major cities was an advantage.
PharmaCell’s clinical and commercial capabilities also influenced the decision: “From a technical perspective, having a site which has offered a commercial product was a strong selection factor,” a spokesperson told us.
Lion is developing clinical-stage cancer immunotherapies founded on tumour-infiltrating lymphocyte technology (TIL). Its leading candidate is currently being investigated for the treatment of refractory metastic melanomas, metastic squamous cell carcinomas and metastic cervical carcinomas.
PharmaCell will manufacture Lion’s autologous cell therapy products in its clinical and commercial facility in Geleen, the Netherlands.
“This collaboration will result in a substantial increase in our worldwide TIL manufacturing capacity, as we expand our clinical trial program in Europe,” Lion president and CEO Maria Fardis said in a statement.
Lion said it has already started transferring manufacturing technologies to the PharmaCell facility.
Lion did not disclose when it expects production to be completed, which will depend on regulatory interactions and clinical site engagement.