3 Greater Philadelphia Area CDMOs to Consider For Your Manufacturing Needs

By Steve Surdez
March 14, 2023

Philadelphia is a rapidly expanding and evolving bio hub with a host of assets across, including a strong academic footprint anchored by the University of Pennsylvania, a diverse and large life sciences talent pool, an active investor community and an exciting cell and gene therapy ecosystem with the apt nickname “Cellicon Valley.” 

With a mix of multi-national established pharma and biotechs, startups, emerging companies and active academic research labs, it’s an exciting time to be part of the Greater Philadelphia life sciences community. 

This buzzing hive of life sciences innovation, as it grows, will require not only funding and talent, but also the development and manufacturing support to advance pipelines into the clinic and beyond. While many large, established pharma and biotech companies have the means to add in-house lab space and advanced biomanufacturing capabilities, most young and emerging organizations do not. And some large companies see building in-house facilities as too expensive and risky.

Enter the Contract Development and Manufacturing Organization or “CDMO” for short. Philadelphia’s life sciences ecosystem—and really, any bioscience hub that wants to sustain growth—needs local and highly capable CDMOs they can lean on to accelerate drug development and manufacturing. 

Several national and global CDMOs have a presence in the Greater Philadelphia area, but there are several exciting CDMOs that have their roots in the City of Brotherly Love. Relative newcomers LucasPye BIO and The Centers for Breakthrough Medicines (CBM), as well as the well-established Lubrizol Life Sciences are poised to help the Philadelphia ecosystem reach new heights.

Here are three notable Greater Philly CEOs you should know if you’re looking for external help with your manufacturing needs.      

LucasPye Bio, Philadelphia

Tia Lyles-Williams, the founder & CEO of LucasPye BIO, is on a mission to lower development and manufacturing costs for emerging life science companies while bringing greater diversity to the life science industry.

LPB, founded by Lyles-Williams in 2018, currently offers a wide range of services to its clients, including proprietary cell line development, bioprocess development, consulting, and cGLP small-scale bioprocessing. The company’s unique approach includes the revolutionary digital transformation of development and manufacturing processes and a deep, profound, and authentic commitment to social change unique to the biopharma/biotech space.

Lyles-Williams is a life science industry pioneer who is shattering ceilings across the industry. She is the first Queer, African-American woman to own and lead a biotech/biopharma large-scale manufacturing organization. LPB is the first biotech/biopharma company to have 50% of its C-suite executive team seated by women and 85% seated by people of color. Lyles-Williams’ vision is to see this level of diversity mirrored by established life science companies and strengthened by increasing the number of startups founded by women, LGBTQ individuals, and people of color. 

The company is in the process of developing a brand new 60,000 square foot manufacturing facility that will be located in an underserved Philadelphia community, and the company has committed to hiring a percentage of its staff from the surrounding neighborhood.  

Center for Breakthrough Medicines, King of Prussia

The Center for Breakthrough Medicines (CBM) is a cell and gene therapy CDMO based in the heart of Philadelphia that offers pre-clinical through commercial manufacturing capabilities including process development for cell therapy, plasmid DNA, and viral vector manufacturing, as well as cell banking, cell processing, and a full suite of complementary testing and analytical capabilities.

CDM, in partnership with The Discovery Labs, has big plans to build the largest cell therapy manufacturing operation in the world. The new facility when operational will have the capacity to manufacture more than 10,000 patient therapies annually. According to a press release about the new facility, which is currently in the planning stages, “CBM’s facility will manufacture cell therapies across indications including oncology immunotherapies and regenerative medicine applications. 

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The state-of-the-art facilities will be forward-engineered with modular designs to adapt an array of cell types, manufacturing processes, and capacity demands to maximize efficiency while minimizing costs. To further enable next-generation cell therapies, the CBM team will implement rapid autologous manufacturing, high-fidelity gene-editing capabilities, and fully automated processes prior to the facility coming online.

Lubrizol Life Sciences, Bethlehem

Founded in 1991, the CDMO Division of Lubrizol Life Science Health (LLS Health) has established itself as a leading contract development and manufacturing organization with a range of technical capabilities, multiple technology platforms, and expertise in complex drug delivery. Staffed by experienced CDMO industry experts, Lubrizol offers drug product formulation and a comprehensive suite of supporting services including analytic, bioanalytic, physical characterization and manufacturing. A variety of technologies and the ability to deal with poorly soluble and highly potent compounds under GxPs in both sterile and non-sterile environments is Lubrizol’s specialty.

Lubrizol’s mission is to become a true CDMO partner by designing and producing the most effective drug products for their clients. From the beginning, Lubrizol has been leading the way with commercial innovations, scaling our first nano-particle back in 1994. Today our clients include over half of the leading pharmaceutical and biotech companies, governments, foundations, universities, hospitals and privately-backed start-ups.