BioBridge Global announces plans for GenCure biomanufacturing facilities at VelocityTX Innovation Center planned for redeveloped Merchant’s Ice complex
San Antonio-based BioBridge Global was announced today as the anchor tenant at the groundbreaking for the VelocityTX innovation center, located in the redeveloped Merchant’s Ice complex at 1304 and 1305 East Houston St.
BioBridge Global will lease 21,000 square feet to establish the second phase of its GenCure Biomanufacturing program, initially launched in February of 2018. GenCure’s facilities at the new site will include an initial 6,000 square feet of clean-room production space, expandable to 14,000 square feet, and an initial 2,500-square-foot development lab, along with office and meeting space.
The new biomanufacturing space is expected to be completed by the end of the year, thanks to a prefabricated modular clean room system produced by G-Con Manufacturing in College Station, which speeds up the design, build and validation process of the production facilities. GenCure will initially employ between 20-25 scientific and technical staff at the biomanufacturing site.
BioBridge Global launched its GenCure Biomanufacturing capabilities a year ago in 1,200 square feet of production space, and later added a 1,000-square-foot process development lab at its headquarters facilities on IH-10.
As medical research focuses increasingly on cell-based therapies, the GenCure Biomanufacturing facilities will produce the large numbers of consistent, high-quality, clinical-grade adult stem cells needed to help bring potential new therapies into human clinical trials. The space will be used to continue serving clinical trial scale production needs for companies around the world and will attract new companies to the VelocityTX innovation center as a core resource.
“We’re excited to be a part of this East Side downtown revitalization and continue building on the 45-year legacy of our organization,” said BioBridge Global CEO Martin Landon. “Our support of life-saving blood transfusion therapy certainly remains at our core, but this biomanufacturing facility will greatly expand our capacity to enable and accelerate research and development in the area of cellular therapies.”
“There is a growing amount of research in the field of regenerative medicine underway at institutions here in San Antonio and around the world,” said GenCure COO Becky Cap. “That’s creating a pent-up demand for adult stem cells to help advance new cellular therapies for patients suffering from a wide variety of diseases and conditions, from Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and stroke, to heart disease and many more.”
The BioBridge Global family of nonprofits, whose mission is to save and enhance lives through the healing power of human cells and tissue, includes GenCure, the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center, QualTex Laboratories and The Blood & Tissue Center Foundation.
BioBridge Global collaborates with a number of local military, academic and private research institutions involved in the field of regenerative medicine, which the City of San Antonio and BioMed SA have identified as one of five areas of strength for the city’s biomedical sector. BioBridge Global and GenCure are leading a team that includes local collaborators the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research and StemBioSys to fulfill a three-year $8.9 million contract from the Medical Technology Enterprise Consortium (MTEC) to develop large-scale manufacturing capabilities for clinical-grade stem cells to be used in research and therapeutic applications.
BioBridge Global’s GenCure Biomanufacturing facility will be the anchor of VelocityTX’s four-acre site, currently being redeveloped into a modern bio and life sciences business incubator and innovation center to serve multiple target industries and provide a broad array of resources to entrepreneurs. In addition to BioBridge Global’s GenCure biomanufacturing facility, the ten-year, four-phase redevelopment will include new lab space for bio and life science start-ups, programming to accelerate the development of innovative technology companies, and serve as an anchor for a larger “Innovation District” on the near East Side, for a total investment of approximately $227 million.
“I’m very proud to be leading this effort, which is the continuation of Gen. Robert F. McDermott’s vision. Today’s groundbreaking will continue to reaffirm VelocityTX’s mission of expanding growth and economic development, and investing in life sciences. We’re thrilled to announce our anchor tenant, BioBridge Global, as we continue to create jobs and opportunities in San Antonio,” said Randy Harig, President & CEO of VelocityTX.
VelocityTX estimates that when completed, the Innovation District will support approximately 665 jobs with combined wages and benefits of over $78 million annually. When completed, VelocityTX intends to recruit on the East Side for all available positions.