Octapharma AG has opened its $32 million research facility dedicated to recombinant protein drug development in Heidelberg, Germany. Octapharma Biopharmaceuticals GmbH, a subsidiary of Octapharma AG, provides human therapeutic proteins and is among the first to use recombinant technology from human cells. The new location is close to medical and clinical establishments including the German Cancer Research Center (the DKFZ) and Heidelberg University Hospital.
Dr. Ulrich Thibaut, board member R&D Octapharma AG, said “The building resembles a ship, with a glass bow, going forward into new frontiers. In many ways this reflects the work we are doing here, undertaking a journey of discovery. Our new location in Heidelberg will strengthen our footprint in one of the most important biotech clusters in Germany.”
The new 10,000-m² building was designed to house innovative research in human recombinant technology, as well as the development of the clinical production of these new products. The space allows for the scaling up to 1000-liter fermenters for production, and space for as many as 120 staff.
Carola Schröder, general manager of Octapharma Biopharmaceuticals, said, “Through the use of human cell lines, we aim to create more compatible medicines with improved tolerability and reduced immunogenicity. As a modern alternative to plasma products these innovative medicines will be used in the treatment of patients including those with hemophilia. One project in the preclinical stage uses this recombinant technology to develop supportive therapy to restore the immune system after tumor patients have undergone chemotherapy.”