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Caliber opens world’s largest plant-based manufacturing facility

By Alexandria Pesic , 26-Apr-2011

US-based vaccine specialist, Caliber Biotherapeutics, has opened the world’s largest modular, plant-made pharmaceutical manufacturing facility at its headquarters in Bryan, Texas.

The company claims the new facility is capable of producing 10-100 million low-cost vaccine doses per month, alongside hundreds of thousands of protein biotherapeutics such as monoclonal antibodies.

Barry Holtz, Caliber’s chief scientific officer and a plant-made pharmaceuticals specialist, explained more about the company’s novel approach to vaccine development, and its ability to quickly respond to “emerging natural, or manmade threats.”

“With plant-based systems we have an unprecedented level of flexibility and scalability,” he said.

This enables simultaneous production of multiple proteins and rapid change-overs from one product to another in order to meet patients’ needs and respond to emerging infectious diseases and bioterror threats.”

Uniquely agile

Biodefense expert and chief medical officer for Caliber, Brett Giroir, said the new facility provided the company with a flexible, scalable manufacturing capacity to meet changing demands in the global vaccines market.

“The Caliber platform is designed to be uniquely agile and responsive, enabling us to accelerate development of products with improved efficacy, reduced cost and enhanced safety,” he said.

“Our goal is to make a rapid, meaningful impact on patients with unmet medical needs, both in the United States as well as in lesser developed countries with profound public health challenges.”

Proprietary pipeline

In addition to the company’s new plant-based facility in Bryan, Caliber also announced its intention to develop a proprietary product pipeline for cancer and infectious diseases, which it claims will utilise cell and microbial-based production systems.

According to Caliber, the end result will provide “more effective and affordable vaccines and biotherapeutics for patients – delivered in a time frame in which they are needed.”

The company said it expects to make further announcements relating to its priorities for product development, along with news of potential strategic alliances, in the coming months.

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