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Ascend Gene and Cell Therapies (Ascend GCTx) (Group)

Ascend Gene & Cell Therapies (Ascend), a specialist company innovating manufacturing processes to improve quality, potency, safety and cost enabling better reach for gene therapy technologies, announces today that it has launched as a facilitator for gene therapy companies to help translate product ideas into viable clinical programs. Ascend offers process development, clinical manufacturing, and analytical and regulatory support for biotech companies working in advanced modalities requiring flexible CMC services. Originally founded by Monograph Capital, Ascend has raised a total of $132.5M, most recently completing a Series A fundraise led by Abingworth and Petrichor, supported by DCVC Bio, 4BIO Capital, Cathay Health, Deerfield Management, Digitalis Ventures and Ajinomoto Co., Inc. This fundraising has enabled the acquisition of CMC capabilities and technologies from Freeline Therapeutics and provides operational runway to build the business. Initially focused on high-quality Adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors, Ascend brings together a team of approximately 120 cross-functional experts who have already developed processes for a number of AAV products currently under clinical development. Operating from an evolving technology base which uses a split two-plasmid transfection system for AAV manufacture and broad suite of assays, Ascend has an established global footprint created by acquiring and merging experienced teams across three countries and two continents. Ascend's operations are headquartered in the UK with GMP production in Potters Bar, North London, platform technology research in the San Francisco Bay Area, USA, and a specialist process development and analytics team in Munich, Germany. The company is led by an experienced leadership team, headed by former Chief Operating Officer at Cognate Bioservices (now part of Charles River), Chief Executive Officer Mike Stella who brings 30 years of manufacturing expertise. Ascend's team also includes Chief Financial Officer Wes McConnell who joined from Bavarian Nordic with 20 years in the life science and viral vector-based manufacturing field, Chief Scientific Officer Markus Hörer who began his career in AAV over 30 years ago and brings significant expertise in developing AAV products as well as other viral vector-based therapeutics, and Chief Operating Officer Arjan Roozen who has built and operated a number of ATMP facilities across multiple geographies. *


Period Start 2021-06-22 established
Products Industry contract manufacturing (biologicals)
  Industry 2 cell and gene therapy manufacturing (CGT manufacturing)
Persons Person Stella, Mike (Ascend GCTx 202305 CEO before Cognate Bioservices)
  Person 2 McConnell, Wes (Ascend GCTx 202305 CFO before Bavarian Nordic)
Region Region Altrincham, Greater Manchester
  Country United Kingdom (GB)
  Street 1 Ashley Road
3rd Floor
  City WA14 2DT Altrincham, Cheshire
    Address record changed: 2023-05-20
Basic data Employees n. a.
    * Document for »About Section«: Ascend Gene and Cell Therapies Ltd.. (5/9/23). "Press Release: Gene and Cell Therapy Manufacturing Specialist Ascend Launches with over $130M of Funding as Expert Teams Merge". London.
Record changed: 2024-06-07


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