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Celgene to open new immunotherapy research center in Summit

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Celgene Corp. will open a new CAR T cell therapy facility as part of its Summit West campus.

The new facility is expected to open within days, and will support ongoing investigational work seeking to develop transformative treatments for blood cancer patients.

CAR T cell therapy is a new, novel approach to treating patients with B-Cell lymphoma, a rare blood cancer that typically meant a death sentence to those afflicted.

CAR-T cell therapy, a type of immunotherapy, was approved for adults with B-Cell lymphoma in late October by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. It typically involves collecting a patient’s T-cells, genetically modifying them to include a new gene that targets and kills lymphoma cells, and implanting them back in to the patient, thus allowing the patient’s own immune system to fight the cancer.

In early November, Hackensack Meridian Health’s John Theurer Cancer Center became the first New Jersey-based medical facility to offer the life-saving treatment after engaging in a research partnership with New York’s Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

A Celgene spokesperson said the new facility will be roughly 135,000 square feet and led by Mayo Pujols, the company’s vice president of CAR T manufacturing and technology.

Last month, Celgene also announced the opening of its Thomas O. Daniel Research Incubator and Collaboration Center, a 16,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art lab space for entrepreneurs interested in medical research and innovation.

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Vince Calio

Vince Calio

Vince Calio covers health care and manufacturing for NJBIZ. You can contact him at vcalio@njbiz.com.

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