Aldevron to build gene therapy campus at US headquarters

By Murielle Gonzalez 5-Jun-2019

The nearly 0.5 million sqft facility in Fargo could employ 1,000 people when fully operational in 2021

Aerial view from the northwest showcases the company's 14-acre planned campus

Aldevron has announced plans for a 14-acre campus at its headquarters in Fargo, North Dakota, in the US. Phase one construction will begin in August.

Upon completion, the annual capacity of the campus will exceed US$1 billion of plasmid DNA, RNA, gene editing enzymes, and other biologics, the biotech giant said.

The first two-story building will increase Aldevron’s GMP and GMP-Source production capacity up to 10 times its current output.

This 189,000 square-foot new build will connect to the existing GMP facility and is expected to be fully operational by Q1 of 2021.

The project comprises three new buildings to be built over the next three to five years.

Aldevron says the investment aims to support the rapidly growing field of genetic medicine.

“This plan is designed to serve the biopharmaceutical industry with the world’s most advanced manufacturing platforms for gene and cell therapy,” said Michael Chambers, CEO of Aldevron.

He added: “It is an honour for us to provide plasmids, gene editing enzymes, and other biologics to support clinical and commercial applications that our clients are pioneering.”

For Chambers, the new campus will also enable large-scale production of novel products like nanoplasmids and minicircles.

“Our industry is growing exponentially. We are building a campus to meet client demand, create a functional and inspiring environment for our staff, and take us to the next level,” said Henry Hebel, Chief Operating Officer for Aldevron.

Manufacturing optimisation

Hebel said the company's expansion plan was designed by listening to and engaging with regulatory agencies, industry professionals and most importantly, our clients. "The design decisions promote efficiency and scaling, and the next generation of manufacturing optimisation,” he said.

Plans include adding 20,000 square-feet of additional quality control and product storage space to Aldevron’s current 70,000 square-foot GMP and GMP-Source manufacturing building. The site, deemed the world’s largest plasmid DNA manufacturing facility, opened in September 2018.

The next building to be added is an 89,000 square-foot, two-story administration and client visit centre, connected to the manufacturing space via skyway.

The final construction will be a 96,000 square-foot research and development, technical operations and training centre. Once complete, the total square footage will be nearly 0.5 million sqft and has the potential to employ 1,000 people.

“Our mission has remained unchanged in 21 years: to help our clients improve lives through innovative partnerships and scientific excellence,” continued Chambers. “This campus has been, and will continue to be, designed to serve their current and future breakthroughs.”

Aldevron is a privately held company, founded in 1998. Its biologics are currently being used by thousands of researchers around the world who are improving the lives of millions.

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The company currently employs more than 350 people across its current global network in Fargo, Madison, WI, and Freiburg in Germany, where the company is also bolstering infrastructure.