German Viral Vector Producer SIRION pursues its American dream and opens in Boston

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The biggest biocluster of the World is still attractive. Munich-based Sirion Biotech decided to open an office to establish its US presence and benefit from Boston’s leading position in the gene therapy field.

Gene Therapy is the next big thing in Biotech and is now moving from a theoretical dream to reality. Boston is clearly the hotspot for this field, with very active companies and academic centers. A few facts on the cluster: Bluebird Bio has the biggest market cap in the gene therapy space (see the exclusive interview of its CEO Nick Leschly), CRISPR has been co-invented at the MIT and BROAD Institute, and Editas is headquartered there.

Gene Therapy is performed thanks to viruses, called viral vectors. The approach can be direct, when the viruses inject copies of the gene straight in the DNA, or indirectly, with viruses injecting the gene-editing tools (CRISPR or TALEN) into the cell.

Sirion Biotech, a leading viral vector platform company, provides the three most-commonly used viral vectors: adenovirus, adeno-assiociated virus and lentivirus. During our Labiotech Tour South Germany, we exclusively interviewed the company’s CEO Christian Thirion.

The company is now well established in Europe and wants to expand to the US. Boston was chosen as a landing point. The city is, in fact, the perfect place to settle in, with a tremendous biotech community. It is close to Europe with daily flights with a mere 6 hours time difference, a huge advantage to collaborate with Europeans. Distance, for example, doesn’t play in California-based companiees, which have a 9 hour trip to the Old Continet… Way too much!

Boston’s hub has already attract another German company that also just established its subsidiariy here: Ayoxxa Biosystems. French companies like Median, Hybrigenics, previously Cellectis Bioresearch, Ipsen have also offices in the city.

Boston has established itself as the center for European Biotech subsidiaries. SIRION is adding its name to the long list and now has lot of work to do to penetrate the US Market. The game is just starting.

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