GE Healthcare Life Sciences and UMass Medical School Establish Large Scale Viral Vector Manufacturing Facility

Dec 16, 2019
  • New facility will help alleviate bottlenecks in manufacturing that impact preclinical research

December 16, 2019 - GE Healthcare (GEHC) Life Sciences and the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS) have come together to establish a Large Scale Viral Vector Manufacturing Facility. The new facility will provide large quantities of high-quality recombinant adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors for preclinical research. The facility will be housed on the University of Massachusetts Medical School’s Worcester campus.

Preclinical research capabilities are limited due to a lack of large- scale viral vector manufacturing facilities. Researchers often have to wait 12 to 24 months to secure enough vector for their research. This large scale AAV manufacturing facility will alleviate the bottlenecks that delay the start of preclinical research. Additionally, researchers will have access to GE Healthcare’s processing equipment and the assistance of professional staff at the facility helping to get their research to the clinic faster.

Catarina Flyborg, General Manager of Cell and Gene Therapy, GE Healthcare Life Sciences, says: “Accelerating research that brings novel cell and gene therapies to patients is the mission of our business. By partnering with UMass Medical School to create this large scale AAV manufacturing facility, we will provide researchers with the tools and AAV needed for pre-clinical research that will advance the cell and gene therapy industry and get therapies to patients faster.”

“The potential of gene therapy to treat human disease has finally become a reality” says Terence R. Flotte, MD, professor of pediatrics and dean of the School of Medicine at UMMS. “However, the ability to move the field forward to treat additional serious diseases remains limited by the efficiency and flexibility of producing gene therapy vectors suitable for testing in new disease models. Our partnership with GE Healthcare addresses this critical challenge. The strength of this academic-industry collaboration between two of the commonwealth’s leaders in this field gives us a great deal of optimism that we will overcome this challenge.”

The facility will be 3,220 square feet and will feature a good laboratory practice (GLP) viral vector FlexFactoryTM.  Four to six professional staff will manage the day-to-day operation and the facility will be fully operational in 2020.

About the University of Massachusetts Medical School

The University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS), one of five campuses of the University system, is comprised of the School of Medicine, the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, the Graduate School of Nursing, a thriving research enterprise and an innovative public service initiative, Commonwealth Medicine. Its mission is to advance the health of the people of the commonwealth through pioneering education, research, public service and health care delivery with its clinical partner, UMass Memorial Health Care. In doing so, it has built a reputation as a world-class research institution and as a leader in primary care education. The Medical School attracts more than $264 million annually in research funding, placing it among the top 50 medical schools in the nation. The 2013 opening of the Albert Sherman Center, home to the research lab of 2006 Nobel Laureate Craig C. Mello, PhD, ushered in a new era of biomedical research and education on campus. Designed to maximize collaboration across fields, the Sherman Center is home to scientists pursuing novel research in emerging scientific fields with the goal of translating new discoveries into innovative therapies for human diseases. For more information, visit www.umassmed.edu

About GE Healthcare Life Sciences

GE Healthcare Life Sciences helps therapy innovators, researchers and healthcare providers accelerate how precision diagnostics and therapies are invented, made and used. Our products enable biological analysis, research, development and the manufacture of advanced therapies and vaccines. Life Sciences is part of the $19.8 billion healthcare business of GE (NYSE: GE).  With over 100 years of experience in the healthcare industry and more than 50,000 employees globally, GE Healthcare helps efficiently improve outcomes for patients, healthcare providers, researchers, and life sciences companies around the world. Visit our website https://www.gelifesciences.com/about-us for more information.

Media Contact:

Colleen Connolly

Senior Communications Manager, Life Sciences

Colleen.Connolly@ge.com

M: 774 245 3893