Less than a year after buying a U.S. plant from AstraZeneca, Novartis’ biotech AveXis has it ready for production of Zolgensma, its gene therapy for spinal muscular atrophy. The new plant will help it get the treatment for the rare genetic disease to more patients. It also is building a plant in North Carolina that is expected to open this year.
AveXis officially company opened the plant Tuesday (January 6) many of the 150 employees who worked at the facility before AstraZeneca closed it in January 2019, the Daily Camera reported.
AveXis acquired the 700,000-square-foot, six-building campus in Longmont, in April of last year. Along with manufacturing space, the campus has offices, laboratories, warehousing and utilities.
The production build-up is key because Novartis has indicated it wants to make sure it has sufficient global supply to meet demand for Zolgensma, something with which it has struggled with its first gene therapy, CAR-T drug Kymriah. That is because the FDA set higher specifications for cell variability and the number of inactive cells for the commercial release of Kymriah than the drugmaker achieved in trials.