Imperial Innovations Group plc has announced that portfolio company Cell Medica has opened a European manufacturing facility in Berlin-Buch, Germany.
T cell immunotherapy involves harnessing the human immune system to treat diseases and Cell Medica is using the approach to develop, manufacture and market treatments of infections and cancers related to oncogenic (cancer-causing) viruses.
Cell Medica’s commercial manufacturing facility at the Max-Delbrück-Center of Molecular Medicine within the biotechnology area of Campus Berlin-Buch includes approximately 350 m2 clean room space, and will initially focus on manufacturing the company’s Cytovir™ CMV.
The innovative Cytovir CMV treatment uses immune cells of a healthy donor to restore immunity to Cytomegalovirus infections in patients who have lost their immunity following a bone marrow transplant.
The commercial launch of Cytovir CMV is planned for early 2014, following the completion of two randomized controlled studies currently ongoing in the UK.
The financing of Cell Medica’s investment in the Berlin-Buch facility is supported in part by the Investitionsbank Berlin (IBB), the business development and promotion bank of the Federal Land of Berlin.
The facility will also be important in providing investigational medicine products for Cell Medica’s planned CITADEL study to investigate a T cell therapy for the treatment of EBV-associated lymphomas, which will be undertaken following the required regulatory approvals.
Cell Medica is one of Innovations’ leading portfolio companies and represents the strength in depth of the Group’s top ten assets. In July 2012, Innovations committed £3 million as part of a £17 million funding round for Cell Medica. Innovations holds a 30% stake in the business.
Russ Cummings, Chief Executive Officer, Imperial Innovations, said: “The opening of a European manufacturing facility is a significant step towards Cell Medica bringing its lead product, Cytovir CMV, to market. We have been able to scale-up our investment over time to help Cell Medica’s excellent team maintain its industry-leading position and grow the value of the company.”
Dr Rainer Knaus, Managing Director of Cell Medica GmbH, said: “This facility has been designed and equipped to provide high quality Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) compliant production of patient-specific cell and gene therapies for distribution across Europe. We are also very fortunate to have attracted highly educated and well-trained personnel who are keen to help shape this new era of cell-based therapeutics. These manufacturing specialists are preparing the facility for the supply of Cytovir CMV in early 2014.”