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Sana Biotechnology to Build New Facility in the Bay Area

Sana Biotechnology, a Seattle-based startup, has picked the San Francisco Bay Area as the location for its new biomanufacturing plant. The gene editing and cell therapy firm revealed plans to build a 163,000-square-foot manufacturing plant in Fremont, California. It intends to use the facility to develop T cell treatments, human stem cells, and viral DNA for cell engineering. Sana, which has offices in Seattle, San Francisco, and Boston, is hiring in all three cities, following a big $587 million IPO in February.

Sana Biotechnology said, “The Fremont location allows close proximity to Sana’s existing technical and scientific capabilities and access to a strong biotechnology talent base.” We’ve reached out to Sana for further information, and we’ll update this page if we hear back. According to a press announcement, Sana, which was founded three years ago and is run by former Juno executives, will produce goods for late-stage clinical testing and early commercial products at the facility.

Although the company has a number of pre-clinical programmes, it has yet to enter a product into clinical trials. The Bay Area is a considerably larger, more established biotechnology region than Seattle, so competition for researchers proficient in biomanufacturing and other fields can be fierce.

Biotech companies have a history of starting out in Seattle and then moving to other cities after being acquired, with Amgen’s 2014 transfer to Seattle following the acquisition of Immunex leaving wounds on the biotech community. However, biotech and pharmaceutical industries have recently established themselves in the region. Seagen and Bristol Myers Squibb both have manufacturing facilities in Seattle, and Lumen Biosciences announced today that it will develop a smaller-scale manufacturing unit in a former bakery to grow algae-based treatments.

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