US-based pharmaceutical company Bristol Myers Squibb has unveiled its plans to build a new cell therapy manufacturing site in Leiden, Netherlands.

The Leiden site marks the company’s fifth advanced cell therapy manufacturing facility and first in Europe, in addition to its major contract manufacturing partnerships worldwide.

It follows the announcement for construction of a new 244,000ft2 cell therapy manufacturing facility in Devens, Massachusetts of the US, at the company’s existing campus.

With the new investment in the Netherlands, the company aims to expand its global manufacturing capacity and bring the treatments to patients in less time.

The new facility in Leiden will leverage the life sciences industry region near Amsterdam and easy access to transportation for shipping patient cells.

It will feature advanced technologies, the latest manufacturing equipment and advanced digital systems to deliver critical cell therapies.

The manufacturing site would commercially focus on capabilities for multi-product cell therapy manufacturing and the ability to scale up capacity, said the company.

Bristol Myers Squibb cell therapy development and operations senior vice president Ann Lee said: “A key element of BMS’ commitment to cell therapy is our continuous investment in advanced manufacturing capabilities, from the expansion of our global network and capacity to treat patients to reduced turn-around time and optimized costs.

“We continue to grow our presence in Europe and the Netherlands, which offers an innovative life sciences hub and world-class industry talent, and we look forward to hiring several hundred talented people over the coming years to join our global team and participate in our cell therapy journey.”

Bristol Myers said that the new manufacturing facility is part of its commitment to patients with aggressive haematological cancers and its growing cell therapy portfolio.

The company has commenced the planning for site design and development and is expected to begin construction later this year.