A lab technician at Thermo Fisher Scientific. Courtesy of the company

Thermo Fisher Scientific opened a manufacturing facility in Carlsbad on Thursday to make biological components for RNA-based vaccines like the ones developed to fight COVID-19.

The 67,000-square-foot facility, located on the company’s existing Carlsbad campus near College Boulevard and Faraday Avenue, reflects the growing global demand for cell and gene therapies and vaccines requiring plasmid DNA.

“Demand for commercial plasmid DNA is outpacing supply as the development of transformative gene therapies and vaccines accelerates globally,” said Marc N. Casper, chairman, president and chief executive officer of the $30 billion Boston-based biotech giant. 

“Investments in state-of-the-art manufacturing such as this ensure that our customers have reliable access to the high-quality materials and capabilities that have become vital for the production of these new lifesaving medicines and the patients in need,” he said.

Plasmid DNA is increasingly used as a therapeutic agent in gene therapies and certain vaccines. Its advantages, including increased safety and ease of manufacture, have dramatically increased demand for materials and manufacturing capacity globally.

The manufacturing facility will support 150 new jobs as production scales.

Reps. Mike Levin and Scott Peters, along with Carlsbad City Mayor Matt Hall, attended an opening ceremony.

“This expansion in Carlsbad is exciting, bringing new jobs and revenue to our district, while also advancing San Diego County’s reputation as a hub for innovation,” said Levin. “Their work helps tackle many of the world’s greatest challenges and builds healthier, more sustainable communities.”.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.