Agilent Technologies Expands Therapeutic Nucleic Acids Manufacturing Capacity
News May 08, 2008
Agilent Technologies Inc. has announced the expansion of its nucleic acid active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) manufacturing facility in Boulder, Colo. Agilent’s Nucleic Acids Solutions Division is adding large-scale nucleic acid synthesis, purification and drying capacity that will come on stream by the end of 2008.
As a part of this expansion, Agilent has purchased from Dowpharma all of the assets of its Nucleic Acid Medicines business. The financial terms of the purchase were not disclosed. This is the second manufacturing expansion for the Boulder, Colo., facility since Agilent purchased the business in 2006.
“This expansion represents a significant commitment by Agilent to meet the supply demands of a rapidly expanding market,” said James Powell, general manager of Agilent’s Nucleic Acid Solutions Division. “Merging our expansion plans with the acquisition of Dow’s assets will allow Agilent to respond to this demand well ahead of our original plan. Agilent will have the ability to serve customers from pre-clinical through large-scale commercial launch with facilities, equipment and expertise across a broad range of nucleic acid APIs.”
Agilent’s capacity expansion features the addition of a 200-1,000 mmole synthesizer capable of producing kilo quantities of API per synthesis batch.
Additional downstream processing capability will also be added with a 30 liter per min chromatography system and two multikilo lyophilization units. Corresponding infrastructure and reaction vessels will be added for custom conjugation chemistries and duplex annealing of siRNAs; addressing the fastest growth segment of the oligonucleotide market.
As genome editing technologies advance toward clinical therapies, they are raising hopes of a completely new way to treat disease. However, challenges need to be addressed before potential treatments can be widely used in patients. To tackle these challenges, the National Institutes of Health has launched the Somatic Cell Genome Editing program, which has awarded multiple grants including more than $3.6 million to assess the safety of genome editing in human cells and tissues.