New state of the art cleanroom facilities will enable a leading international gene and cell therapy company to expand its bioprocessing operations and manufacturing capabilities.

Multi-disciplinary engineering company WHP has secured the design, construction and project management contract for the development of a new viral vector manufacturing centre for Oxford BioMedica.

The new facility is being established in a former Royal Mail sorting office in Oxford. Phases 1 and 2 of the expansion comprises the highly specialist conversion of the building into GMP cleanroom suites and fill and finish production areas, as well as offices, warehousing and quality control laboratories.

WHP is responsible for the design and build, including testing and validation which encompasses WHP’s full integrated skillset. The design includes a full 3D BIM model, including clean room architecture, HVAC, M&E and process and critical utilities systems.

The specialist areas have been designed in full compliance with MHRA regulations and conform to ISO cleanroom standards. This includes the use of zoned HVAC systems to maintain the segregation, cleanliness, air pressures and other environmental controls.

The WHP team have finalised the detailed design and is commencing construction in accordance with the programme of works.

London Stock Exchange-listed Oxford BioMedica awarded WHP the contract for the design and installation of the original pilot plant for the LentiVector® delivery platform at its Yarnton premises in 2015.

As a result of the successful delivery and operation of this initial project, WHP was then appointed for this current, larger and more complex project.

Ian Lichfield, Chief Executive of WHP, said: “Continuing our association with Oxford BioMedica and being able to play a part in the successful development of these life-changing and cutting edge medical technologies is fantastic for WHP.

Every cleanroom development requires scrupulous attention to detail in terms of design, engineering and installation and it is particularly satisfying that the duty of care and quality of installation we provided on the original lentiviral vector manufacturing plant has resulted in our involvement in this new and exciting project.”

The new full service site will allow Oxford BioMedica to meet expected long term demand for its advanced therapy medical products and futureproof its market leading position.