PackGene Biotech a world-leading adeno-associated viral (rAAV) vector contract research organization (CRO) and contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO), announced the expansion of its U.S. services with a new cGMP biomanufacturing and processing facility in Houston. The company broke ground on the full-service operations center this week to support a growing base of U.S. customers advancing gene therapy programs.
“We are excited to bring economical, reliable, and scalable AAV products, as well as our viral vector development and GMP production capabilities, to our next full-service operations center in Houston,” said PackGene Chief Technology Officer LiYing Yang.
“These capabilities will enable us to serve our U.S. customers better and, importantly, to help bring life-saving therapies to patients faster, more reliably, and more cost- effectively. With this, we are making great strides in advancing our mission of ‘making gene therapy affordable’.”
The 25,000-square-foot facility will be located just outside Houston’s inner loop at 9310 Kirby Drive. The facility will include process and analytical laboratories, cGMP manufacturing cleanrooms and support areas, quality control laboratories, a warehouse, and office space. This represents an expansion of the existing operations, which include some process and analytical development, and laboratory space, employing approximately 20 people. PackGene plans to nearly triple its Houston-area workforce to about 60 by the end of 2023 when the new facility is expected to be complete. BE&K Building Group is providing design-build services on the project, and the architect of record is Perkins + Will.
At the groundbreaking event, PackGene CTO Yang gave opening remarks, followed by Paul Li, founder and president of PackGene; Betty Russo, Gulf Coast / East Texas regional representative, Office of the Governor, State of Texas; and Ann Tanabe, CEO, BioHouston, Inc.
“We do healthcare delivery all so well in Houston: we have the greatest academic research institutions; we have a vibrant early-stage entrepreneur community at TMC innovation; now we have manufacturing, which is a huge piece of the overall delivery system for patients. So PackGene, you are going to be a tremendous resource to our Houston community alongside with the other members that we have here,” said Tanabe, during the groundbreaking ceremony.