Cytovance construction to start next quarter

Published: Tuesday, March 29, 2016 By: Sarah Terry-Cobo Source: Journal Record

Cytovance Biologics Inc. will start construction of its new 30,000-square-foot manufacturing plant next quarter.

The biotechnology company recently purchased a lot for the new facility at 100 NE 30th St.

“We are able to bring more diverse opportunities in the biotech world to Oklahoma City,” said spokeswoman Cheryl Soerensen.

The building is in the design stage and construction will begin in the second quarter, Soerensen said. The facility will be operational in 2017. The company will hire about 100 people, including technicians, quality assurance managers and material handlers, she said. Cytovance now has 184 employees.

Cytovance manufactures antibodies and proteins needed to develop disease treatments. Its clients make pharmaceuticals tested in clinical trials and therapeutic treatments, as well as drugs for chronic illnesses. Those clients need materials created in strictly controlled environments to meet U.S. Food and Drug Administration criteria.

Cytovance’s new facility will meet FDA standards and support production and testing of other biological elements for clients, Sorensen said. The new manufacturing facility will put together raw materials for production and testing of biological materials, she said.

Cytovance announced in August it was acquired by Shenzhen, China-based Hepalink USA Inc. for $206 million. At the time, Soerensen said the company wouldn’t move from Oklahoma and would use the investment to expand production to commercial scale. The company also indicated in August that it would expand its footprint in the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center research park.

The company has an existing 30,000-square-foot facility at 3500 N. Santa Fe Ave. that manufactures biological components.

Cytovance has worked with biotech startups including Selexys Pharmaceuticals, which is researching a sickle cell anemia treatment, and Caisson Biotech, which makes drugs for diabetes. There are some small biotech companies in Oklahoma, but not many, she said.

“We mainly support East Coast, West Coast and international clients,” Soerensen said. “We are a global company that happens to be right smack-dab in the middle of Oklahoma.”

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