Tengion is a development-stage regenerative medicine company that required a first-of-its-kind facility utilizing current good manufacturing practices (cGMP) to manufacture autologous cells for the regeneration of bladder cells. The building required spaces for quality assurance, quality control, tissue culture and an open sterile manufacturing room for an incubator farm to produce the replacement bladders. Tengion hired the Colliers team to perform a site-selection survey with a comparative analysis between two states, Pennsylvania and North Carolina. The site had to be free of vibrations that might impact the analytical equipment, have the potential to accommodate 2,000 amps of power, offer access to dark fiber and provide sufficient equivalent dwelling units (EDUs) to accommodate an effluent for discharge into the public sewer system.
Within 90 days, the team identified and analyzed multiple sites in North Carolina and Pennsylvania using a weighted matrix of critical issues to achieve Tengion’s design and construction goals. Since this was the first facility approved for this type of manufacturing by the FDA, careful consideration had to be given to security, attractiveness of the environment, ease of servicing the mechanical infrastructure and the ability to maintain a sterile, controlled environment with redundant utilities and power. It also needed to be located in an area with access to experienced biological technicians and scientists.The decision was made to shortlist only newly constructed properties with a minimum 28-foot clear ceiling height to accommodate a “catwalk mezzanine” and a background of minimal power interruptions. As a result of assessing this short list, Tengion signed a letter of intent for a lease of approximately 48,000 square feet of offices, analytical labs and sterile manufacturing space in Pennsylvania. The overall cost of the project was approximately $25 million for the infrastructure and critical utilities alone.
With help from the Colliers team, Tengion was able to produce the best quality site in advance of the timeline goal for occupancy. Colliers secured a market-appropriate rental rate with access to every critical utility required for the construction of the facility. Additionally, as part of the coordination between the State of Pennsylvania and Tengion, the Colliers team facilitated a grant of $1.25 million to be used in the construction of the facility.