Lonza reported it opened “the world’s largest dedicated cell and-gene-therapy Center of Excellence,” in Pearland, Texas. The COE is expected to reach 200 full-time staff by end of 2018 in greater Houston and continue to recruit high-value positions as market demand increases.
According to the Pearland Economic Development Corporation the 300,000 square foot “facility was built in anticipation of the rising demand from developers of cell and gene therapies, the next era in medicine, and with the mission of enabling them to deliver these types of treatments to patients around the world more quickly and efficiently.”
"Lonza Houston will serve as a center of excellence for cell and-gene-therapy process development from concept through pre-clinical, clinical and commercialization, all the way to the patient," says Andreas Weiler, Business Unit head for Emerging Technologies at Lonza Pharma & Biotech. "This facility has the potential to produce treatment for thousands of patients suffering from rare genetic disorders or life-threatening diseases, under one roof. It will set a new standard in biopharmaceutical manufacturing and stand as one of four centers of excellence in cell and gene therapy in the only global network spanning three continents."
"Outstanding teams of top experts from around the world are gathered here and are empowered to elaborate on innovative concepts, develop and optimize complex processes, and seamlessly deliver cell and gene therapies that adhere to the industry’s current good manufacturing practices (cGMP) standards,” he added.
“Lonza is committed to the evolution and cultivation of a diverse medical and life-science community in the Greater Houston area for many years to come,” says Marc Funk, Lonza Pharma & Biotech COO. “The site is well positioned to meet the demands of the growing cell and-gene-therapy field. Combining this leading- edge facility with our unmatched experience and expertise in cell and gene therapy will allow us to provide a key advantage to biopharmaceutical companies and academic researchers and ultimately to the patients they serve.”