PITTSBURGH, Jan. 24, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Krystal Biotech, Inc. (Nasdaq:KRYS), a gene therapy company developing medicines to treat rare diseases, announced today the ground breaking of the second commercial gene therapy facility in Findlay Township, Pennsylvania. The Findlay-based Current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) facility, named ASTRA, will have the capacity to produce commercial gene therapy medicines to treat patients suffering from debilitating rare diseases. The ground-breaking ceremony is being held today, January 24, 2020.  

"Biologics manufacturing is a complex science and is a competitive advantage for Krystal Biotech," said Krish S. Krishnan, chairman and chief executive officer at Krystal. “We are very excited to announce the creation of ASTRA which will be a global resource for production of gene therapies with the potential to bring new treatments to rare disease patients around the world. The success with our first GMP facility, Ancoris, gives us the experience and confidence to have ASTRA be functionally ready in time for the anticipated launch of our lead therapeutic, B-VEC (previously KB103)."  

The ASTRA facility is being designed as a state-of-the-art cGMP manufacturing facility that, beyond expanding Krystal's current production platform, will allow the in-house incorporation of raw material preparation, excipient manufacturing, testing, packaging, labeling and distribution, fully-integrating all components of the supply chain from starting materials to patient experience. The ASTRA facility will initially be used as a commercial back up facility for B-VEC, which is being developed for the treatment of dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa, a rare and devastating skin disorder, and expand to produce investigational and commercial material for our pipeline products. The 100,000 square foot facility will be built-out and validated over the next 12 -15 months. Opening the ASTRA facility will create about 75 new jobs in western Pennsylvania, with the potential to create upwards of 200 new jobs when at full capacity.

Several leaders from local government and life sciences are scheduled to attend the dedication ceremony of the facility, including Allegheny County executive, Rich Fitzgerald, PA State Sen. Pam Iovino, PA State Rep. Valerie Gaydos, Allegheny County Airport Authority chief executive officer, Christina Cassotis, president of the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance, the regional economic development affiliate of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, Mark Thomas and representatives from Life Sciences Pennsylvania, the statewide trade association for the life sciences industry.

County executive Rich Fitzgerald said, “Today’s groundbreaking is another example of the growth and vitality that we’re seeing in the airport corridor. Congratulations to Krystal Biotech on this milestone, and thank you for your investment in Allegheny County. We’re thrilled to see you grow and thrive in this region and look forward to working with you as a partner in the healthcare and life sciences space in this county.”

Mark Thomas, president of the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance, added, “It’s a signal of confidence in a region’s economy when businesses elect to expand where they first established. We congratulate Krystal Biotech on the success it has achieved in the Pittsburgh region since 2016 and its latest plans for expansion – the largest biotech investment in the region to date. We recognize that companies in the life sciences sector have no shortage of locations to consider when it comes to growth and expansion. Krystal Biotech’s commitment to Pittsburgh reinforces the comprehensive efforts in motion in the region to ensure that companies committed to solving the world’s biggest challenges, saving lives and advancing wellness find the talent, space and community of support in Pittsburgh that enable thriving and growing.”

Christopher Molineaux, president of Life Sciences Pennsylvania, commented, “We are delighted to see Krystal Biotech expand their headquarters in Pittsburgh. Pennsylvania is home to more than 2,800 life sciences establishments and Krystal Biotech has become a beacon of transformational science in that community that will ultimately serve patients around the world.”

About Krystal Biotech

Krystal Biotech, Inc. (NASDAQ:KRYS) is a gene therapy company dedicated to developing and commercializing novel treatments for patients suffering from rare diseases. For more information, please visit http://www.krystalbio.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release includes certain disclosures that contain “forward-looking statements,” including, without limitation, statements regarding the potential launch of B-VEC (previously KB103) to treat the underlying causes of dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa, company’s promising technology platform and the potential for rapid development of the company’s clinical programs. You can identify forward-looking statements because they contain words such as “believes” and “expects.” Forward-looking statements are based on Krystal’s current expectations and assumptions. Because forward-looking statements relate to the future, they are subject to inherent uncertainties, risks and changes in circumstances that may differ materially from those contemplated by the forward-looking statements, which are neither statements of historical fact nor guarantees or assurances of future performance. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements are set forth in Krystal’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its registration statement on Form S-1 and Form 10-K, as amended from time to time, under the caption “Risk Factors.”

INVESTOR CONTACT
Ashley R. Robinson
LifeSci Advisors
arr@lifesciadvisors.com

MEDIA CONTACT
Darren Opland, PhD LifeSci Communications
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Source: Krystal Biotech, Inc.