Wacker Biotech US Inc.
San Diego, California/USA
Biopharma in the US
In 2021, WACKER strengthened its biopharma business with the acquisition of Genopis, a pharmaceutical contract manufacturer of plasmid DNA (pDNA) headquartered in San Diego, California. A few weeks after the acquisition, the company was renamed "Wacker Biotech US Inc."
The site was established in 2018 through the incorporation of Genopis as a joint venture between South Korean biotech company Helixmith Co Ltd. and the private equity firm Medivate Partners LLC, Seoul (South Korea). WACKER acquired 100 percent of the shares in the pharmaceutical contract manufacturer in February 2021.
Wacker Biotech US specializes in the fermentative manufacture of pDNA. The company operates in San Diego as a CDMO and has a specialized, 500-liter-capacity fermentation line for the manufacture and purification of pDNA. Further, small-scale fermentation and downstream processing facilities for pDNA is scheduled to come on stream in late 2021. The company’s 40-plus employees have extensive experience in the production of pDNA aligned with the quality guidelines of Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP).
Demand for pDNA has surged in recent years, driven by developments in the field of gene therapy. pDNA is highly versatile. It is used in nucleic acid-based gene therapies, but also serves as a raw material in vaccine production. pDNA is the starting point for the production of messenger RNA (mRNA), for instance.
For several decades now, Wacker Biotech, a WACKER subsidiary, has manufactured therapeutic proteins, live microbial products and vaccines for clinical development and commercial supply at its sites in Jena, Halle and Amsterdam. Wacker Biotech US’s proprietary pDNA technology expands WACKER’s portfolio as a contract manufacturer for the pharmaceutical sector. The February 2021 acquisition in San Diego allows WACKER to establish a local presence in the large US market for biologics.
Site-Specific Facts & Figures
- Name: Wacker Biotech US Inc.
- Location: San Diego
- Employees: approx. 40
- Products: Manufacture of plasmid DNA (pDNA)
- The facility is GMP-certified.