Boston – DPS Group, a privately-owned, global engineering, procurement, construction management, and validation (EPCMV) firm serving high-tech process industries, and TRIA, a principal-led architecture firm with a focus on designing unique spaces for science, technology, and corporate clients, announced the completion of the first phase of the 80,000sf Arranta Bio Manufacturing Facility.
Working in partnership with construction manager DC Beane, DPS and TRIA provided architectural, interior design, engineering, and project management services for a new manufacturing facility for microbiome therapeutics located at 650 Pleasant Street in Watertown, Mass. This multi-phase project will be mechanically complete and ready for full occupancy by the end of 2020.
The project includes the renovation and fit-out of a former warehouse space into a cGMP development and manufacturing facility. Among the many challenges was converting the warehouse building into a state-of-the-art manufacturing space which has the capacity and flexibility to handle a broad range of drug production for Arranta Bio clients. Designed for full process stages along with lyophilization and capsule filling, all new process equipment and building utility equipment were installed along with new clean utility generation.
The facility is configured to allow for expansion to larger scale production as demand increases. Current maximum fermentation capacity is 2 x 2000 L, with a total of 13 cGMP suites. The Arranta Bio facility design allows for agility in process configurations, incorporating single use equipment, strategically located utility panels, and a centralized Vaporized Hydrogen Peroxide (VHP) routed to each room to streamline changeover decontaminations.
When complete, the rear portion building will feature a 9,000sf research and development (R&D) lab suite and a 6,000sf quality control (QC) lab suite on the first floor, with conference rooms, huddle rooms and a large forum/kitchen above on the second floor. Upgrades to the exterior included new cladding, exterior lighting, and repairs to the roof. In addition, windows were added on the second floor to bring natural light into the offices and storefront windows were added to the front office.
Located right off the parking lot, the front portion of the building will serve as the lobby/reception area and it will include lounge seating, kitchenette, conference rooms, offices, and huddle rooms for use by visitors to the facility. Taking a cue from Arranta Bio’s branding, the look is clean and modern with navy and teal accent colors used throughout the space, helping to create a holistic, cohesive design between lab and office. Features also include open ceilings, patterned carpet, and warm wood toned luxury vinyl tile.
The project team on Arranta Bio’s manufacturing facility include owner, Arranta Bio; construction manager, DC Beane and Associates Construction Company; architect, TRIA; process engineer, process architect, and MEP Engineers, DPS Group; site and civil engineer, VHB; and structural engineers, Goldstein/Milano.
“Our goal is to be the leader in our sector. We are doing this with over a decade of experience making live biopharmaceuticals,” said Mark Bamforth, founder, president and CEO of Arranta Bio. “This new manufacturing facility gives us the ability to better support our clients as they continue their work to develop life-enhancing medicine and to bring these through licensure. The combined team of DPS and TRIA, and their deep understanding of our industry, have enabled us to create a facility which will help our clients develop and manufacture promising new Microbiome-based therapies.
Founded in 2019 with the acquisition of a 10-year old microbiome service provider, Arranta Bio is a contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) specifically established to focus on serving companies seeking to develop and commercialize therapeutics targeting the human microbiome. The microbiome refers to the genetic material of literally trillions of microbes – bacteria, fungi, protozoa, and viruses – that live inside and on the human body. Scientists have called it the second genome and over the last decade, there has been a rapid acceleration in scientific understanding of the composition and functions of the gut microbiota. Today, around 200 companies are focused on understanding the human microbiome and its linkage to areas including infectious diseases and oncology, with the goal of identifying therapeutic targets.
“The future of microbiome-based therapy is certainly exciting,” said Aaron Cowley, chief scientific officer for Arranta Bio. “We are uniquely positioned within the microbiome space to facilitate the entire life cycle from bench to market. This new facility allows us to have the technical team that performs basic scientific work on hand to support and troubleshoot a product launch, resulting in shorter timelines and reduced cost and risk.”
Coordinating the MEP requirements to the first floor lab areas was another significant challenge with the existing building.