New Strategic Manufacturing Collaboration Established Between The University of Pennsylvania’s Gene Therapy Program And WuXi AppTec, Inc.

PHILADELPHIA, PA, AND SHANGHAI, JUNE 15, 2015 – The University of Pennsylvania today announced that it has entered into a strategic manufacturing collaboration with WuXi AppTec, Inc., a leading technology platform company providing clients with a broad and integrated portfolio of laboratory and manufacturing services, including expertise in characterization and analysis of biologics.

“Advances in the technology of gene transfer developed at the University of Pennsylvania have ushered in an era of exciting translational research in gene therapy” said James M. Wilson MD,PhD, a leader in gene therapy discovery and development and professor and director of the Gene Therapy Program and the Orphan Disease Center at the Perelman School of Medicine. “A critical step toward successful commercialization of these products is the development of processes and analytics for scalable production of vectors. The opportunity for Penn to partner with WuXi AppTec, Inc in the commercial production of gene-therapy vectors will greatly accelerate their development as products and access to patients.”

The collaboration will combine Penn’s significant expertise in viral vector production, developed over the past 20 years by Wilson and colleagues , with the manufacturing expertise and infrastructure of WuXi Apptec. Scientists from Penn will work with Wuxi Apptec to establish efficient, scalable manufacturing processes within current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) guidelines for the production of viral vectors at Wuxi AppTec’s 145,000 square-foot state-of the-art manufacturing facility under construction at the Navy Yard in Philadelphia.

“We are delighted to partner with the University of Pennsylvania to provide an integrated solution for cGMP viral vector manufacturing to advance the many exciting clinical programs underway,”said Felix Hsu, senior vice president of U.S. Operations at WuXi AppTec, Inc. “The ability to deploy advanced analytical tools, an ongoing technical collaboration, and application of the knowhow developed at Penn and in Dr. Jim Wilson’s laboratory will be particularly valuable as we expand our clinical and commercial manufacturing of AAV vectors here in Philadelphia.”

The collaboration was facilitated by the Penn Center for Innovation (PCI), the University’s commercialization organization, which is focused on building strategic partnerships with the private sector in support of the University’s goals of innovation and impact. John Swartley, PCI’s Executive Director, added, “This is an important new partnership that brings together Penn’s strengths and world class experts in cell and gene therapy with the strategic manufacturing capabilities of a major industrial player. We are excited to enter into this promising new partnership with WuXi.”

About the Gene Therapy Program

The Gene Therapy Program of the University of Pennsylvania conducts basic and translational research in gene therapy through discovery laboratories and core research services. The focus is on developing effective gene vectors derived from recombinant viruses. Much of the current effort is in the development of new adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors, although some of the research involves both adenoviruses and lentiviruses. Clinical translation of these discoveries is accomplished through collaboration with academic and biopharmaceutical partners. The current clinical focus is in the area of orphan and infectious diseases.

About PCI

The Penn Center for Innovation (PCI) helps to translate Penn discoveries and ideas into new products and businesses for the benefit of society. It does this by facilitating technology development connections between Penn and the private sector. Whether the end result is a technology license, an R&D alliance, the formation of a new venture or an integrated combination of any or all of these activities, PCI serves as a dedicated one-stop shop for commercial partnering with Penn. Beyond facilitating the above-mentioned commercialization processes, PCI also helps to foster a spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship at Penn. With monthly speaker series that highlight Penn faculty from its numerous schools, the Penn I-Corps Site summer accelerator program, and partnerships with other schools and organizations across campus, PCI is convening the necessary stakeholders in the Penn community and the wider Philadelphia entrepreneurial ecosystem to make Penn a strong innovation partner.

About WuXi PharmaTech

WuXi PharmaTech (NYSE: WX) is a leading open-access R&D capability and technology platform company serving the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device industries, with operations in China and the United States. As a research-driven and customer-focused company, WuXi PharmaTech provides pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device companies with a broad and integrated portfolio of laboratory and manufacturing services throughout the drug and medical device R&D process. WuXi is also building a platform to provide clinical diagnostic services directly to physicians and their patients globally. WuXi PharmaTech's services are designed to help its global partners in shortening the cycle and lowering the cost of drug and medical device R&D. The operating subsidiaries of WuXi PharmaTech are known as WuXi AppTec. For more information about WuXi AppTec, please visit

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