Aldevron adds space

Biologics manufacturer expands and names new business heads

Ilene Schneider
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FARGO, N.D.—Aldevron, a privately held custom producer of plasmid DNA, RNA, mRNA, proteins, gene-editing enzymes, antibodies and other biologics, is expanding its 14-acre campus at its headquarters in North Dakota. Aldevron is known for inventing the GMP-Source quality system and for specializing in GMP manufacturing.
Clients use Aldevron products for projects ranging from discovery research to clinical trials to commercial applications. These products are critical raw materials and key components in commercially available drugs, gene and cell therapy, vaccinations and more, according to the company.
Phase 1 construction is slated to start in August. When the campus is completed, the company’s annual capacity will exceed $1 billion in biologics. The first two-story building will increase GMP and GMP-Source production capacity by as much as 10 times its current output. Aldevron’s 189,000-square-foot addition, which will connect to the existing GMP facility, is expected to be fully operational by the first quarter of 2021. Three new buildings will be built over the next three to five years to support the rapidly growing field of genetic medicine.
The company’s plans include adding 20,000 square feet of quality control and product storage space to Aldevron’s current 70,000-square-foot GMP and GMP-Source manufacturing building, the world’s largest plasmid DNA manufacturing facility, which opened in September 2018. The next addition will be an 89,000-square-foot, two-story administration and client visit center, connected to the manufacturing space by skyway. The last building will be a 96,000-square-foot research and development, technical operations and training center. Upon completion, the total square footage will be nearly 500,000 square feet, and the facility will be able to employ 1,000 people.
According to Michael Chambers, CEO of Aldevron, “This plan is designed to serve the biopharmaceutical industry with the world’s most advanced manufacturing platforms for gene and cell therapy. It is an honor for us to provide plasmids, gene editing enzymes and other biologics to support clinical and commercial applications that our clients are pioneering. The new campus will also enable large-scale production of novel products like nanoplasmids and minicircles. Our mission has remained unchanged in 21 years: to help our clients improve lives through innovative partnerships and scientific excellence. This campus has been, and will continue to be, designed to serve their current and future breakthroughs.”
Henry Hebel, chief operating officer of Aldevron, added, “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. Our robust 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 optimization.”
In other news, Aldevron announced the appointment of Brian Walters as president of its antibody business unit and Tom Foti as president of its protein business unit. Walters, who currently serves as chief business officer at Aldevron’s headquarters in Fargo, will split his time between Freiburg, Germany, home to Aldevron’s antibody business unit, and the North Dakota headquarters. Foti, who currently serves as the vice president and general manager of Aldevron’s Madison, Wis., facility, will stay at that location. Both Foti and Walters will continue to report to Chambers and will help the company with strategic initiatives to expand and improve client support for gene and cell therapy research.

Ilene Schneider

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