Avid plans expansion with focus on biologics development

By Melissa Fassbender

- Last updated on GMT

(Image: Getty/CIPhotos)
(Image: Getty/CIPhotos)
There is no slowdown in sight, says Avid Bioservices CEO, as the company today announces further expansion to support new client projects and optimize its novel CHO-based expression system.

Roger Lias, president and CEO of Avid Bioservices said the company has seen a “tremendous surge”​ in interest since formally transitioning to a full-service, dedicated contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) earlier this year​.

The company in February raised more than $20m​ to grow its contract manufacturing business.

Today, Avid announced that it is expanding its Orange County, CA-based process development laboratory space to more than 6,000 square feet. Conducting work in phases to avoid disruption, the first new laboratories are expected to be operational during the third quarter of calendar 2018.

Lias said: “Our announced expansion is driven by strong in interest in our process development and clinical stage services, but we are also in the unusual position of having multiple single use 2,000 L bioreactors available in our state-of-art Myford facility.”​ This, “at a time when many competitors are starting expansion projects that will not yield available capacity until 2019 and beyond,”​ he added.

In addition to upgrading its existing infrastructure, Avid is also installing new equipment to support client manufacturing demand from clinical development to commercial production. The expansion will also support technology transfer and on-boarding of later stage manufacturing projects, Lias said.

“The final phase of the program will be the relocation of our pilot facilities into remodeled space within the company’s legacy Franklin manufacturing facility,”​ he added.

No slowdown in sight

Focusing on the development and manufacturing of biologics derived from mammalian cell culture, Lias said the company sees “no slowdown in broad demand for this class of products.”

Later this year, Lias said the company will be able to share additional information about a novel CHO-based mammalian expression system that is being developed in-house.

“Monoclonal antibodies and derivatives such as multi-specific antibodies and antibody drug conjugates remain hot areas, but we also see strong demand for complex recombinant proteins such as fusion proteins and enzymes based on our long track record with these highly glycosylated and complicated products,”​ he added. 

The company recently signed new agreements with three international drug development companies for which Avid has commenced work.

“The drug candidates involved in these agreements are being developed for application in certain cell therapy, respiratory and oncology indications,”​ said Lias.

With the recent agreements, the company has on-boarded four new client projects this year to date, compared to the same number in 2017.

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