Bristol Myers Squibb Builds Dutch Cell Therapy Site

29.04.2021 - US drugmaker Bristol Myers Squibb has chosen Leiden in the Netherlands for a new cell therapy manufacturing site in Europe as it continues to expand and develop treatments for patients with aggressive hematological cancers.

The company said the location will leverage the growing life sciences region near Amsterdam and provide convenient access to transportation for shipping patient cells.

The Leiden complex will be Bristol Myers Squibb’s fifth cell therapy manufacturing facility and the first in Europe. The company said the facility will be commercially focused with capabilities for multi-product cell therapy manufacturing and the ability to scale up capacity.

Site design and development planning is already under way, and construction is expected to start later this year. Bristol Myers Squibb did not disclose when the facility would go into operation.

Extends partnership with Evotec

Separately, Bristol Myers Squibb has exercised its option to extend a partnership with German drug discovery and development company Evotec on targeted protein degradation.

The partnership was established in 2018 to identify first-in-class drug candidates initially focusing on solid tumors. It leverages Evotec’s proprietary PanOmics platform, which combines enhanced throughput proteomics, high throughput transcriptomics and cell imaging with the integrated data analysis platform PanHunter.

Evotec said the approach has generated a pipeline of novel first-in-class targeted protein degradation projects, two of which have transitioned successfully into lead optimization. The company added that the high quality of the data and the number of promising drug targets identified using the PanOmics and PanHunter platforms has led to the early extension of the collaboration.

Cord Dohrmann, Evotec’s chief scientific officer, commented: “Targeted protein degradation is an emerging new therapeutic modality with enormous potential to reach not only proven drug targets through a novel mechanism of action, but also traditionally undruggable targets and thus discover and develop first-in-class, disease-modifying therapeutics.

The extension has triggered an undisclosed payment to Evotec to further expand screening efforts, thereby continuing to grow the pipeline.

Author: Ellaine Burridge, Freelance Journalist