AbCellera has secured a site in Vancouver for the construction of a Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) manufacturing facility for the production of therapeutic antibodies, which will be the first of its kind in Canada.
The 130,000-square-foot facility will expand AbCellera’s capabilities in bringing new antibody therapies to clinical trials, supporting Canada’s efforts to respond quickly and effectively to future pandemics and providing AbCellera’s partners with a full solution for accelerating their programs from a drug target to the submission of an Investigational New Drug (IND) application.
This announcement follows AbCellera’s April groundbreaking on a new global headquarters in Vancouver. The 380,000-square-foot headquarters on 4th Avenue between Columbia and Manitoba Streets will be within walking distance of the new GMP manufacturing facility.
The new GMP facility will be built on what is currently a vacant two-acre site, and the planned building will house laboratory, office, GMP protein biologic manufacturing, and warehouse space. Design efforts are already underway and groundbreaking is scheduled for later this year.
In parallel with the construction of the new facility, AbCellera is also building up an internal Chemistry Manufacturing and Controls (CMC) development organization – the team of scientists and engineers responsible for developing the manufacturing processes for antibody therapeutics.
“We envision AbCellera as a premier destination for the brightest and most creative minds, for people who seek challenges and who want to work at the leading edge,” said Murray McCutcheon, Ph.D., Vice President of Corporate Development at AbCellera.
“Our recently announced headquarters and new GMP facility will empower entirely new capabilities and jobs in Canada that we believe will make our communities stronger, bring treatments to patients sooner, and leave a legacy of innovation.”
CMC and GMP manufacturing capabilities will extend AbCellera’s competencies and, when combined with AbCellera’s world-leading technology stack for antibody discovery, will enable AbCellera to support partners to move rapidly and seamlessly from discovery to the clinic.
Funded in part by a $175 million grant from the Canadian government’s Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF), the facility is scheduled to be ready for GMP manufacturing in early 2024, and at full capacity will employ hundreds of highly skilled scientific personnel.
AbCellera anticipates adding hundreds of employees to its current workforce of nearly 300 people over the next few years.