CytoImmune Therapeutics Inc. opens manufacturing facility in Toa Baja
A little more than a year after announcing its plans to enter the Puerto Rico manufacturing arena, CytoImmune Therapeutics Inc. officially opened its 37,000 square-foot clinical cell production facility in Toa Baja.
The company invested some $28 million including machinery and equipment, it announced in February 2021. It will produce natural killer cell therapies for evaluation in multiple clinical trials starting this year.
“We chose Puerto Rico to develop and manufacture these innovative cancer treatments based on the significant scientific capabilities of our local talent and the decades of experience on the island in biopharmaceutical manufacturing,” said company COO José Eduardo Vidal.
“Our goal is to create cellular immunotherapies for patients to recognize and kill cancer cells. The work by the company here holds the potential to positively impact patients around the world,” he said.
CytoImmune is “leveraging proprietary, robust, and well characterized natural killer (NK) cell expansion and engineering technologies to advance its tumor-reactive NK (TRACK-NK™) cell therapies for patients with cancer,” official said.
The cells are engineered to directly attack cancer cells and broadly stimulate both the innate and adaptive arms of the human immune system through the potent release of interleukin 15, enabling robust and specific tumor killing.
The CytoImmune clinical cell manufacturing facility in Toa Baja is custom designed to support all manufacturing needs for the company’s cell therapies, allowing it to accelerate the research and development efforts, officials said.
“The early investment in our manufacturing capabilities will accelerate our clinical trials with collaboration between our clinical teams and the supply chain management. Further, developing this internal expertise in manufacturing also shortens the time needed to advance our newest innovations from the laboratory bench to patients,” said CytoImmune Therapeutics Inc. CEO Christina Coughlin.
Meanwhile, Puerto Rico Department of Economic Development and Commerce Secretary Manuel Cidre said “A main part of our economic development strategy relies on innovation in the biopharmaceutical sector, where research and development are in the front line. Thank you for being part of Puerto Rico’s transformation and for trusting our capable workforce.”