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Biologics

Agilent to boost oligonucleotide production in Colorado

by Rick Mullin
August 21, 2020 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 98, ISSUE 32

09832-buscon6-agilent.jpg
Credit: Agilent
A quality control lab at Agilent's faciility in Frederick, Colorado

Agilent Technologies plans to spend $150 million to double capacity for oligonucleotides—short DNA and RNA molecules used to create nucleic acid–based therapies—at its facility in Frederick, Colorado. Agilent expects the market for oligos to top $750 million by 2025, with double-digit growth over that time. The company hopes to begin shipments from the 2,300 m2 expansion by the end of 2022. Agilent has been manufacturing oligos in Boulder, Colorado, since 2006 and opened the Frederick facility in 2019. Others have also been expanding. WuXi AppTec’s STA Pharmaceutical unit opened a large-scale oligo plant in Changzhou, China, this year. And CordenPharma expanded its oligo plant, also in Boulder, in 2018. Several pharmaceutical companies have drugs approved by the US Food and Drug Administration that use oligos. Biogen’s oligo-based Spinraza treats spinal muscular atrophy. Alnylam has two oligo-based RNAi drugs, Onpattro and Givlaari, for hATTR amyloidosis and acute hepatic porphyria, respectively.

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