Designing for Gene-Therapy Facilities

Posted on Posted in Insight

GBA’s Life Sciences Group understands that quality and efficiency are top priorities when designing a new facility. Our team uses this knowledge to meet the facility needs of rapidly growing start-up biotech companies.

Recently a client asked GBA to design their new gene-therapy manufacturing facility located in the greater-Chicago area. The client developed a new gene therapy product that was quickly approaching commercial approval and they needed a space that would fit their growing needs. The client knew GBA’s Life Sciences team had the experience and expertise to design a biotech facility efficiently, while not sacrificing a high-quality, functional design.

The project converted an existing 50,000 square-foot precast commercial building into a contemporary biotech facility. An innovative feature included fully-contained prefabricated cleanrooms, called PODs. The challenge: In 12 months, complete detail design, installation and final acceptance with only a conceptual design in hand. GBA’s experts quickly got to work.

Utilizing an innovative design feature to include fully-contained prefabricated cleanrooms called PODs, GBA worked with the client to alter basic design strategies that would allow them to receive fully-operational PODs and an aseptic filling line in less than a year. The new facility supports 11 PODs with space for an additional 10 PODs. The client can manufacture product and has the flexibility to scale up without disruption to their existing production. This is the driving force behind the facility, and the client’s ability to increase production to meet their patient’s needs.

“It is inspiring to be part of an industry creating life-altering solutions for children and their families. The client kept that message alive and it is now part of the GBA culture.”
Sandra Bachamp, GBA Associate

The new facility makes it possible to:

  • Address manufacturing challenges early and be ready for changing market conditions and regulatory expectations;
  • Leverage state-of-the-art, innovative PODs;
  • Move from clinical to commercial scale development;
  • Provide clinical and commercial manufacturing options with great flexibility for efficiently delivering important clinical drugs to patients;
  • And ultimately, improve the lives of patients and their families.

GBA designed the right modifications to support the installation of the PODs and manufacturing functions. This included chilled water and heating hot water generation systems in a packaged exterior mechanical room, UPS and generator power and overall building finishes for a cleanable, functional and contemporary look. GBA coordinated with the city officials for code compliance and worked closely with the client to meet tight budgets and schedule constraints. This new facility became operational quickly due to a team of experienced professionals working diligently with a common goal: to bring this life-saving gene therapy to children in need.

About GBA

GBA provides innovative engineering and architectural solutions to clients throughout the US. Primary markets include transportation, water, environment, buildings, site development, and commissioning.

GBA and its subsidiaries employ a staff of 275 headquartered in Lenexa, Kansas, with regional offices in Missouri, Colorado, Nebraska, Iowa, Texas and Illinois. Members of GBA’s multi-disciplined staff work closely with clients to accomplish the firm’s core purpose – “creating remarkable solutions for a higher quality of life.”

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