A new facility in the Amsterdam Area to help fight cancer
Kite Pharma has opened a new facility to manufacture cell therapy treatments in the Amsterdam Area. The new site began operations after receiving approval from the Amsterdam-based European Medicine Agency (EMA) for the end-to-end manufacturing of individualised cell therapies. The new site will produce CAR-T therapy Yescarta, a personalised medicine that involves engineering a patient’s white blood cells to fight their cancer, for up to 4,000 patients per year.
A strategic location that could help Kite save even more lives
Engineering a patient’s white blood cells to fight cancer is a complex process in which a patient’s T cells are removed and taken to a manufacturing facility to create a personalised treatment. How rapidly this process is completed has a direct impact on how quickly a patient can be treated. The facility’s location just four miles from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and in the Amsterdam Area – often known as the Gateway to Europe – will allow an individual’s cells to enter the manufacturing process and be rapidly shipped back for reinfusion.
In a post on its owner Gilead's website, Kite Pharma’s Global Head of Technical Operations Charles Caldero writes: “The site is strategically located just four miles from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, allowing an individual’s cells to enter our manufacturing process and be rapidly shipped back to treatment centres across Europe for reinfusion. This will help us shorten treatment timelines for Europeans with serious forms of blood cancer by almost one week – which is so important when dealing with patients who are so critically ill.”
Reliability and sustainability were also front of mind during construction of the new facility, which has an on-site power plant, 1,800 rooftop solar panels and a design that maximises natural light to reduce energy consumption.
The Amsterdam Area’s growing life science and health sector
Kite, a Gilead company, is one of the Amsterdam Area’s many life sciences and health sector organisations, and the EMA relocated to Amsterdam from London in 2019 - a move inspired by the presence of robust, accessible businesses and academic ecosystem. The region also offers internationally renowned universities, academic hospitals and research institutions, and Gilead, which acquired Kite in an $11.9 billion deal in 2018, has been based in the Dutch capital for more than a decade.