Austin-based XBiotech USA Inc., a biopharmaceutical company that aims to harness human-sourced antibodies for novel cancer treatments, has just announced that they will begin the construction of their first research and manufacturing center on 48 acres in southeast Austin. This project has been a source of conjecture in the Texas biotech community since the company purchased the property two years ago, as reported on BioNews Texas in March of 2013.
John Simard, the company’s President and Chief Executive Officer, said that the facility will span 46,000 square feet and is expected to cost up to $12 million. The construction project is expected to be completed in mid-2015. It will be the primary site of mass production and shipping of Xilonix, the company’s lead therapy for colorectal cancer, which is undergoing Phase 3 clinical trials in the U.S. and in Europe.
Additionally, the facility will soon be joined by a campus with roughly $200 million worth of buildings that could provide job opportunities for up to 2,000 people. Simard disclosed that there is still no definite date for the construction of a second facility on the property.
XBiotech is a private company that was established in 2005. Since then, it has raised over $50 million to fund its research and development initiatives, especially for drug studies on a potential MRSA treatment, which is due to start early next year.
Another company that is focusing on harnessing the body’s immune system for the treatment of cancer is Dallas-based biotech Gradalis, which completed a study that showed a direct relationship between patient survival and immunotherapy that activated T cells against tumors.