Thermo Fisher Scientific has opened a new current good manufacturing practice (cGMP) cell therapy manufacturing facility next to University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Medical Center’s Mission Bay campus to expedite the development of advanced cell therapies.

Built under the partnership between Thermo Fisher and UCSF, the facility will focus on cell therapies for difficult to treat conditions, including cancer, rare diseases, and other illnesses.

The partnership was first announced in 2021, under which both parties agreed to construct a 44,000ft2 cell therapy development, manufacturing, and collaboration centre to accelerate the development of breakthrough treatments.

Initially, UCSF’s focus at the facility will be on treatments for multiple myeloma, glioblastoma, and other cancers using updated techniques to Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy and clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) technologies.

The cell-based therapies for other difficult to treat conditions will follow, said Thermo Fisher.

Thermo Fisher executive vice president and COO Michel Lagarde said: “Cell therapies represent a rapidly emerging field of biotechnology with tremendous promise for future therapeutic applications.

“With a record number of cell therapy approvals granted in the last two years, and CAR-T therapies becoming earlier treatment options, we’re in a golden age of biology, where new technologies and partnerships are evolving and transforming clinical care.”

The new facility is part of Thermo Fisher’s global pharma services network of over 15 locations that support cell and gene therapies.

From the San Francisco facility, Thermo Fisher will provide advanced therapies along with clinical and commercial manufacturing services to UCSF and other customers.

The capabilities of the company in drug development, from discovery through clinical research to commercialisation, can also be used by customers.

UCSF chancellor Sam Hawgood said: “UCSF is one of the top clinical sites for CAR-T treatment, and our scientists are leading the next-generation of CAR-T therapy development.

“These approaches will be tested soon in patients with solid tumours like glioblastoma and later in other diseases, including autoimmunity.”

In August last year, Thermo Fisher opened its new viral vector manufacturing facility in Plainville, Massachusetts.