Friday, May 31, 2019

Iovance Biotherapeutics Inks 136K Lease at Philadelphia Navy Yard

by John Jordan
 Iovance Biotherapeutics, Inc. has reached a lease agreement to build a new 136,000-square-foot production facility at the Philadelphia Navy Yard here.

The San Carlos, CA-based firm, a late-stage biotechnology company developing cancer immunotherapies based on tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte technology, states that the new production facility at 300 Rouse Blvd. at the Philadelphia Navy Yard will be used for the commercial and clinical production of autologous TIL products, including its candidate lifileucel. The facility will allow production, according to U.S. Food and Drug Administration guidelines and is designed to provide scalability using modular processes, the company reports.

Iovance expects to invest approximately $75 million over three years for equipment and construction of the manufacturing suites. The company expects the new facility at the Philadelphia Navy Yard will be completed in approximately two years.
“We are very excited to initiate building our commercial manufacturing facility in Philadelphia. The 22-day Iovance Gen 2 TIL therapy process is robust and scalable, and has led to impressive responses in melanoma, cervical and head and neck indications,” says Maria Fardis, Ph.D., M.B.A., president and CEO of Iovance. “Building our own internal production capabilities will help us reduce the cost of operations which is necessary for offering broad access to TIL therapy.

She adds that the company expects to begin construction in the next few weeks.

“Today’s announcement is great news for the commonwealth as hundreds of new, high-paying jobs will ultimately be created in the biotechnology sector,” says Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf. “I want to thank Iovance for choosing Pennsylvania as the best place to do this important and life changing work.”
“Iovance’s decision to expand to Philadelphia is further evidence that our city’s reputation as a leading location for technology, innovation, and life sciences is growing,” says Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney. “Companies from around the country and the world are seeing Philadelphia as the place they need to be in order to attract talent and grow their business.”

The Iovance facility is being developed and built by Gattuso Development Partners, LLC and the design and construction management firm CRB. Financial incentives were provided by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the City of Philadelphia, and PIDC, including the site’s designation as a Keystone Opportunity Improvement Zone, which allows incentives for business development.

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