WHP wins contract to design and build cell and gene therapy cleanrooms

WHP Engineering has secured the design, construction and project management contract of a new viral vector manufacturing centre for Oxford BioMedica. New cleanroom facilities will enable the gene and cell therapy company to expand its bioprocessing operations and manufacturing capabilities.

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

The multi-disciplinary engineering company is responsible for both design and build, including testing and validation, which encompasses WHP’s integrated services. The design includes a full 3D building information model, including cleanroom architecture, HVAC, monitoring and evaluation systems, and process and critical utilities systems.

The specialist areas have been designed in full compliance with the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency and conform to ISO cleanroom standards. This includes the use of zoned HVAC systems to maintain segregation, cleanliness, air pressures and other environmental controls. CTunderstands the cleanrooms will meet ISO 7 and 8 classification.

The WHP team have finalised the detailed design and is commencing construction.

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 new 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.”