May 16, 2020

Orchard Therapeutics reveals its plans to build-out a gene therapy manufacturing facility

Smart Manufacturing
Catherine Sturman
3 min
gene therapy manufacturing
An integrated commercial-stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to transforming the lives of patients with serious and life-threatening rare diseases...

An integrated commercial-stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to transforming the lives of patients with serious and life-threatening rare diseases through innovative gene therapies, Orchard Therapeutics has revealed its plans to build-out a gene therapy manufacturing facility in Fremont, California.

The new 150,000-square-foot facility will significantly increase Orchard’s California footprint and adds to the Foster City and Menlo Park California sites, which oversee the ongoing development and validation of the manufacture of Orchard’s ex vivo gene therapy product candidates.

Once operational, the new site will provide significant additional CGMP manufacturing capacity for both lentiviral vector and cryopreserved cell therapy products, enhancing Orchard’s ability to manufacture and deliver gene-corrected haematopoietic stem cells for a wide range of diseases on a global basis. In addition to this expanded capacity, Orchard also plans to continue its close collaborations with the Company’s contract manufacturing partners.

“The expansion of our California operations to now include a manufacturing facility is a critical step in advancing Orchard’s capabilities to supply products for our ex vivo gene therapy programs,” explained Stewart Craig, PhD Chief Manufacturing Officer. 

“We believe that this new facility, as an early investment in our own manufacturing, will not only drive efficiencies and scalability in terms of lentiviral vector and drug product development, it will also complement the capabilities of our existing vector and drug product manufacturing partners to support the potential launch of our gene therapy clinical product candidates.”

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The build-out of Orchard’s new manufacturing facility is expected to begin in 2019, and the company expects to hire more than 100 full-time employees over the next few years to support in-house manufacturing efforts.

“Orchard’s new California manufacturing facility will provide enhanced capacity and long-term supply in support of our extensive pipeline beyond the Company’s most advanced clinical programs,” added Mark Rothera, President and Chief Executive Officer, Orchard. “We are pleased to continue our growth in the Bay Area and look forward to welcoming additional technical and management talent to join our mission of transforming patient’s lives through gene therapy.”

Orchard’s portfolio of autologous ex vivo gene therapies includes Strimvelis, acquired from GlaxoSmithKline earlier this year. It is the first autologous ex vivo gene therapy approved by the European Medicines Agency for adenosine deaminase severe combined immunodeficiency (ADA-SCID), which is widely known as ‘bubble-boy’ disease.

Additional programmes for primary immune deficiencies, neurometabolic disorders and hemoglobinopathies include three advanced registrational studies for ADA-SCID, metachromatic leukodystrophy (MLD) and Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome (WAS), clinical programs for X-linked chronic granulomatous disease (X-CGD) and transfusion dependent beta-thalassemia (TDBT), as well as an extensive preclinical pipeline.

Orchard currently has offices in the UK. and the US., including London, San Francisco and Boston.


 

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Jul 30, 2021

First Solar to Invest US$684mn in Indian Energy Sector

FirstSolar
Energy
Manufacturing
India
Elise Leise
3 min
First Solar will launch an advanced PV manufacturing plant in Tamil Nadu to support Indian solar independence

First Solar is about to set up a new photovoltaic (PV) thin-film solar manufacturing facility in Tamil Nadu, India. The 3.3GW factory will create 1,000 skilled jobs and is expected to launch its operations in Q3 of 2023. According to the company, India needs 25+ gigawatts of solar energy to be deployed each year for the next nine years. This means that many of First Solar’s Indian clients will jump at the chance to have access to the company’s advanced PV. 

 

Said Mark Widmar, First Solar’s CEO: ‘India is an attractive market for First Solar not simply because our module technology is advantageous in its hot, humid climate. It’s an inherently sustainable market, underpinned by a growing economy and appetite for energy’. 

A Bit of Background 

First Solar is a leading global provider of photovoltaic systems. It uses advanced technology to generate clear, reliable energy around the world. And even though it’s headquartered in the US, the company has invested in storage facilities around the world. It displaced energy requirements for a desalination plant in Australia, launched a source of reliable energy in the Middle East (Dubai, UAE), and deployed over 4.5GW of energy across Europe with its First Solar modules

 

The company is also known for its solar innovation, reporting that it sees gains in efficiency three times faster than multi-crystalline silicon technology. First Solar holds world records in thin-film cell conversion efficiency (22.1%) and module conversion efficiency (18.2%). Finally, it helps its partners develop, finance, design, construct, and operate PV power plants—which is exactly what we’re talking about. 

How Will The Tamil Nadu Plant Work?

Tamil Nadu will use the same manufacturing template as First Solar’s new Ohio factory. According to the Times of India, the factory will combine skilled workers, artificial intelligence, machine-to-machine communication, and IoT connectivity. In addition, its operations will adhere to First Solar’s Responsible Sourcing Solar Principles, produce modules with a 2.5x lower carbon footprint, and help India become energy-independent. Said Widmar: ‘Our advanced PV module will be made in India, for India’. 

 

After all, we must mention that part of First Solar’s motivation in Tamil Nadu is to ensure that India doesn’t rely on Chinese solar. ‘India stands apart in the decisiveness of its response to China’s strategy of state-subsidised global dominance of the crystalline silicon supply chain’, Widmar explained. ‘That’s precisely the kind of level playing field needed for non-Chinese solar manufacturers to compete on their own merits’. 

 

According to First Solar, India’s model should be a template for like-minded nations. Widmar added: ‘We’re pleased to support the sustainable energy ambitions of a major US ally in the Asia-Pacific region—with American-designed solar technology’. To sum up: Indian solar power is yet the next development in the China-US trade war. Let the PV manufacturing begin. 

 

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