Aldevron’s Madison facility will double biotechnology production capacity

FARGO — Aldevron has announced a significant expansion of its ability to produce proteins and enzymes to meet the demands of the booming biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. The Fargo-based company now has a fermentation capacity of 1,000 liters and plans to “significantly increase” its manufacturing capability in Madison, Wis. “What’s driving this is the cell and gene therapy market,” said Tom Foti, a vice president and general manager who heads Aldevron’s operations in Madison. “A new class of proteins is getting good results.” The expansion of the $8 million biomanufacturing facility will more than double manufacturing space and accommodate up to 60 employees. Aldevron now has 30 employees in Madison. The new fermentation capacity in Madison will support gene and cell therapy studies that require large amounts of plasmid DNA, recombinant proteins and gene-editing enzymes. Plasmid DNA is a circular piece of DNA that researchers use to carry a gene into a cell. The expansion adds almost 10,000 square feet of manufacturing space, with an option for another 5,000 square feet on the same floor. The added space provides room for a 300-liter fermenter that will be used to c...

Locals banding together to promote, increase use of cannabis oil

Several locals are starting a program to try to increase the availability and affordability of a cannabis oil that professionals have, up to this point, only prescribed to cancer patients. Today at the GreenGrow EXPO at the Hilton Garden Inn, local cannabis dispensaries The Healing Clinic and The Canabisseur will announce the launch of the Oklahoma RSO (Rick Simpson Oil) Association. The organization’s aim is to provide potent, healing oils to patients across the state. The oil is created using a small amount of dried marijuana along with an alcohol like naphtha, ether or 99% isopropyl alcohol. Through a washing and mashing process, all the medicinal elements of the plant are concentrated into an oil. Unlike some of the cannabidiol (CBD) oils that have become popular, RSO contains far higher levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the principal psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. The oil is named after Canadian engineer Rick Simpson, who turned to medicinal marijuana in the 1970s to help aid some of his chronic ailments. Simpson eventually was diagnosed with skin cancer and used cannabis to help with the lesions. The cancer was soon gone and Simpson became an advocate for the h...