A gene therapy company that develops treatments for devastating diseases, bluebird bio Inc. opened its 125,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Durham, North Carolina.
bluebird bio purchased the facility in November 2017. Once completed, the company will have invested more than $80 million building a world class site equipped with multiple manufacturing suites capable of producing lentiviral vector.
The facility also includes warehouse and quality control testing laboratories. The facility construction is substantially complete and equipment qualification is underway.
Initially, bluebird bio said it expects the facility to produce clinical and commercial supply of lentiviral vector, which is a critical component of the company’s gene and cell therapies. The facility is large enough to accommodate significant future expansion, including the possibility of manufacturing commercial drug product.
bluebird employs approximately 50 scientists, engineers, manufacturing and operations personnel at the facility and is on track to grow to approximately 70 employees by the end of 2019.
“At bluebird bio, we view every aspect of our path to helping patients as both a privilege and a responsibility. This includes the expertise that we’ve poured into the construction and operation of our manufacturing facility, because it is a crucial step toward our mission of bringing a new generation of treatments to people living with severe genetic diseases and cancer,” said Leschly. “Our teams in North Carolina and across the globe are working to deliver treatments that will make a big difference for a lot of patients and families. This is what drives our ambition to bring four gene therapies forward in the next few years.”
“North Carolina is proud to bring bluebird bio’s cutting-edge work to Durham,” Governor Roy Cooper said. “bluebird is developing treatments for devastating diseases that could change the course of medicine. And, with the Triangle’s highly-skilled workforce, it will continue to be a leader in the biotech field.”