Biomanufacturing facility moves closer to production
The GenCure biomanufacturing facility at the VelocityTX complex should be fully operational by the first quarter of 2020, BioBridge Global CEO Marty Landon told members of The Blood & Tissue Center Foundation board of directors at their quarterly meeting on Nov. 11.
The opening would come less than a year after the groundbreaking at VelocityTX, which is refurbishing the Merchants Ice facilities east of downtown San Antonio as a biomedical innovation hub. Biomanufacturing is the next step in BioBridge Global’s ongoing support for advances in medical treatment, especially cellular therapies.
Landon said the quick turnaround in what had been abandoned warehouse space was the result of building the clean rooms for the facility off-site. The modular units were constructed by G-Con Manufacturing of College Station and shipped to San Antonio on 14 flatbed trucks.
“If we had started this from scratch in a new facility, we would have had to build the facility and then in facility build the clean room spaces,” he said. “This allowed us to accelerate the timeline.”
The timeline impressed members of the BioBridge Global Regenerative Medicine Advisory Board during their November meeting in San Antonio, Landon said. Two of those board members were involved in the development of a stem cell facility for the Center for Regenerative Medicine in Toronto.
“When we were done showing them what we had done, they said ‘This is really amazing – you built twice the space we built in half the amount of time."
The facility will provide adult stem cells for research and clinical trials into therapies for multiple conditions, Landon said. GenCure also could provide stem cells for therapies once they are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and a process development laboratory within the facility will aid the development of other cellular therapies.
Support for medical research is part of BioBridge Global’s mission to save and enhance lives through the healing power of human cells and tissue, he added.