Today, Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS) announces that it has selected Leiden Bio Science Park as European location for a new CAR-T cell therapy facility. Therefore, the biopharmaceutical company benefits from the growing life sciences region in the Netherlands.
With the construction of this production facility, BMS invests in the expansion of its global network to bring cell therapy closer to European patients. In doing so, the organization expands the capacity to treat patients while making it possible to research new treatment options.
“We are pleased that we are expanding our presence in the Netherlands in this way. The Netherlands offers an innovative hub for life sciences and has top-notch industry talent. We’re looking forward to filling hundreds of vacancies in the coming years to shape the new site,” said Véronique Walsh, M.D., General Manager BMS Benelux.
CAR-T cell therapy
CAR-T stands for ‘Chimeric Antigen Receptor T cell’ therapy. T cells are immune cells that can attack and eliminate cancer cells. Within the procedure, white blood cells are collected from cancer patients first. These will be genetically modified in the production center, after which they will be administered to the patient in specialized academic centers. This process helps to fight hematological cancers through the body’s T cells.
Life Sciences & Health ambassador Clémence Ross-van Dorp welcomes the arrival of BMS on behalf of the Netherlands: “This is not only a great step for BMS, it is also important news for the Netherlands. With this move, BMS underlines that our country is an international frontrunner in the field of CAR-T cell therapy. Our growing LSH ecosystem is thriving because of the collaboration between companies like BMS, universities, academic hospitals and the government. Through this connected approach, together we are ensuring that many more people get the care they need.”
Leiden Bio Science Park will be BMS’s fifth cell therapy facility and the first in Europe. The facility will have the latest technology and production equipment to develop cell therapy for patients.
Chris van Voorden, Director of Internationalisation at InnovationQuarter: “We are excited that BMS has selected the Leiden Bio Science Park as the location in Europe for their CART-T cell therapy facility. This facility will not only be a valuable addition to the Netherlands and the Leiden Bio Science life science community where there is a strong focus on new stem cell and gene therapies but most important for the patients in Europe that are waiting for these life-saving therapies.”
The design and development of the location in the Leiden Bio Science Park is currently underway. Construction is scheduled to start later this year and is expected to be completed by the end of 2024. BMS expects the facility to generate at least 500 jobs in the region