Florida Trend | Florida's Business Authority

Akron Bio expands gene therapy, vaccine production with new Sarasota facility

SARASOTA – Akron Bio, a global developer and manufacturer of critical building blocks used in advanced therapies for the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular diseases and cancers, has opened a state-of-the-art plasmid DNA manufacturing facility.

Akron Bio’s facility will address critical demands in the rapidly growing gene therapy and vaccine markets and is seen as a significant boost for Florida’s standing in the biosciences industry, company officials said in Tuesday’s opening event. The new site, located just north of Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport, will support an increasing clinical development pipeline, they said.

The Akron Bio’s facility meets the standards of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Current Good Manufacturing Practice regulations developed to ensure drug safety, efficacy and consistency of advanced therapies.

“At Akron Bio, we are highly motivated by the lasting impact that cell and gene therapies, and vaccine treatments, have on patients’ lives,” said CEO Robert Wedinger. “This new facility will allow us to continue to drive the industry forward, while ensuring the highest quality and safety standards.”

In announcing the new facility two years ago, Akron Bio officials said they selected Manatee County to be near a rapidly emerging biomedical hub in the region as well as due to the support of local and state government. As part of its expansion, Akron Bio will double its Sarasota workforce to more than 100 by the end of 2022 and has plans to expand to meet customer demand for its products.

“We are excited that Akron Bio has continued to demonstrate its commitment to Florida by developing a biomanufacturing workforce in Sarasota, further establishing Florida’s position at the forefront of the life sciences industry,” stated Nancy Bryan, president and chief executive officer of the industry trade group BioFlorida.

Akron Bio was founded in 2006 and has its global headquarters in Boca Raton.