The science behind the development of gene- and cell-based therapies is as granular as it gets. Research at this level of precision requires the latest technology, state-of-the-art facilities and expert staff to produce optimal outcomes. In order to schedule more of your cell and gene studies and help you create more therapies to help patients, we have invested an estimated $9.2 million into a comprehensive nonclinical expansion of our Madison, Wisconsin site set to be ready for your studies. This complements other companywide investments dedicated to cell and gene therapy capabilities and support.
The ethos behind our expansion is to follow the advances in science to success. The cell and gene therapy market has been infused with global investor funding and continues to grow rapidly. Through investments in the leading technology, combined with a team of world-class specialists with expertise across the complex development continuum, you’re placed in the unique position to give your therapies the best chance of moving smoothly through the development phases. “The market is evolving very quickly,” explains Ben Harmssen, Executive Director of Business Development. “Science is going in a lot of different directions, very fast. We’re working to put you in the best situation to address your unmet needs at this earliest point in development. This expansion affords us the flexibility to be scientifically driven and evolve with you as the market progresses.”
The scientific innovation at our Madison site begins with the building itself. An entire floor is dedicated to Animal Biosafety Level 2 (ABSL-2) studies. The infrastructure contains five new and four updated ABSL-2 flex study rooms, each of which is connected to its own dedicated high-efficiency particulate absorbing (HEPA) filtration system. This advanced filtration ensures a completely stable environment, which is imperative to protecting the welfare of immunocompromised test models, and by extension, protecting the integrity of your studies.
Perhaps the most promising new addition is the stereotactic surgery suite. “Stereotactic science is highly specialized and cutting-edge,” says Maryland Franklin, Vice President and Enterprise Head of Cell and Gene Therapy. “It’s a big request in the early development space. There’s a need in this area and not enough expertise out there. We’ve had a lot of calls with clients, and they say they need that expertise. Now we can deliver it.”
In the stereotactic surgery suite, scientists are able to deliver the cell or gene therapy directly into the brain of test models to enable delivery methods in line with approaches for clinical trials. Through this they gain insight on the treatment for conditions centered in the brain, like Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease, with the goal of finding new treatments or potentially even a cure. Our brand-new suite equips us with industry-leading capabilities along with the space to schedule more of your stereotactic studies.
Within the walls of the new laboratories, you’ll find scientists with the latest technology ready to explore groundbreaking areas of research for your cell and gene therapeutics. A notable example is the new X-ray irradiator, which can support a variety of applications in cell and gene therapy including the exploration of stem cells and how they behave within test models.
What’s the objective with all of this new technology and capacity? By following the science and investing in cell and gene therapy from early development through our clinical services, the ultimate goal is to accelerate your studies and help you develop life-changing treatments for patients. “We are pushing forward with the hope that what’s tested here with our clients will one day improve patients’ quality of life,” says Brian McIntosh, Cell and Gene Therapy Lead. “The collaboration we do at every phase allows for therapies to come on the market to treat debilitating diseases. And when that happens, patients can receive that therapy and live longer lives. That highlights why it is so important to take these steps forward together. It is extremely imperative to ensure that quality of life happens.”