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BES has completed a viral vector suite facility for Cobra Biologics, a biologics company that is involved in COVID-19 vaccine scale-up and manufacturing. Cobra has invested in upgrading part of its existing development and production facility with 3 viral vector suites to enable the company to expand its clinical and commercial viral vector services as a Contract Development and Manufacturing Organisation (CDMO).

In compliance with the ACDP Hazard Group and US BioSafety Level 2, along with FDA, EMA, and MHRA standards, the new facilities will allow Cobra to work with customers to develop gene therapy treatments for many health needs.

BES was responsible for providing design development that meets the requirements of Cobra. BES managed to provide a consistent team and an accountable critical path throughout the design and construction phases of the project with clarity on costs and timescales from the outset.

The refurbishment project involved the design and delivery of three grade C processing suites, of which each contains a class 2 microbiological safety cabinet (MBSC), which will allow biological manipulations to be carried out in a Grade A environment. Scientists will enter the new facilities via a primary change area to gain access to a grade C change area. It also includes a new extension to the existing building to upgrade the reception lobby.

One of the most challenging that they faced with the project was to coordinate the construction done whilst minimizing business interruption. BES worked closely with Cobra and the university to coordinate the accommodation and whilst the upgrading of facilities was carried out to overcome any downtime.

Chief Executive Officer of Cobra, Peter Coleman says that the BES team met their commercial and operational requirements and was able to closely work together in designing and programming the project. He added that despite being in an important period and despite the challenges the current situation brought, BES has successfully completed the project to such a high standard ahead of schedule.

(Source: Clean Room Technology, 2020)