Author Archives: BPI Staff

In brief: CDMO Cobra collaborates on coronavirus vaccine

Cobra Biologics and the Karolinska Institutet with EU Horizon 2020 emergency funding in hand have teamed to develop a DNA vaccine against COVID-19. Contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) Cobra Biologics and Swedish medical university form part of a consortium called OPENCORONA aimed at developing and manufacturing a DNA vaccine against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) set to be delivered to patient muscle to generate  a viral antigen on which the immune system then reacts. The consortium, which also includes Karolinska…

Eppendorf expands centrifuge business with Koki buy

Eppendorf says the addition of Koki Holdings’ centrifuge business will help provide its biopharma customers a full product portfolio for centrifugation steps in clinical trial, drug discovery and production. The deal – financials of which have not been disclosed – sees German bioprocess vendor Eppendorf expand its business through the addition of Tokyo, Japan-based Koki’s ‘himac’ brand of centrifuge equipment. “A full functioning business organization, including R&D, operations, sales/service and business administration will be carved out of Koki Holdings Co.,”…

Fujifilm breaks ground on $14.5m UK biocampus

Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies says the site in Billingham will support biologic, vaccine and gene therapy development and manufacturing for its customers. Work began on the site in Billingham in the North of England this week, 10 months after the contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) first announced plans for the biocampus to support its pharma clients in the development and manufacture of biologics, vaccines and gene therapies. The expansion, set to represent an investment of up to $14.5 million (€13…

Gilead: $4.9bn Forty Seven buy sits in the oncology ‘sweet spot’

The acquisition of monoclonal antibody developer Forty Seven complements Kite’s CAR-T therapy franchise in targeting cancers, says Gilead. Under deal terms announced Monday, Gilead will pay $95.50 (€85.50) for each share of Menlo Park, California-based Forty Seven, totaling $4.9 billion. Forty Seven’s lead CD47-blocking drug, an antibody called magrolimab, is being tested in combination with chemotherapy in separate studies evaluating it as a treatment for two types of blood cancer: a group of disorders called myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) and acute…

Fujifilm kicks off gene therapy expansion in Texas

CDMO Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies has begun constructing a $35 million expansion at its College Station, Texas site, intended to feed the demand for gene therapy services. Having announced the expansion in November, contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies has begun adding cell culture and high throughput manufacturing suites at its College Station, Texas plant, to support the growing demand for of gene therapy production. The investment represents $35 million of the JPY 13 billion ($120 million) injection…

Iovance on balancing $85m inhouse plant with CDMO WuXi

Iovance will use CDMO WuXi Apptec for initial commercial supply of lifileucel, but a Philadelphia plant under-construction looks to bring its tumor infiltrating lymphocyte (TIL) cell therapies inhouse. Iovance announced in June last year that it is constructing a 136,000 square-foot facility in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to manufacture its pipeline of autologous cell therapy candidates. At the time, the plant was expected to cost Iovance $75 million (€69 million) over three years “for equipment and construction of the manufacturing suites,” but…

Eppendorf launches twin and flexible bioreactor control system

Eppendorf has launched the SciVario bioreactor control system, which it says allows constant monitoring of two vessels at the same time. The SciVario twin control system, compatible with Eppendorf’s range of bioreactors, fermenters and single-use vessels, aims to help drug developers and researchers by providing a flexible controller to help adapt to changing requirements in a laboratory. “The controller was designed in a compact way to control two vessels in parallel to save space on the bench, but at the…

Biocon receives FDA Form 483 at Bangalore plant

The US FDA has issued Indian drugmaker a 483 with five observations following a pre-approval inspection of an API plant in Bangalore. [Story corrected 01/28 9am ET] – The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) carried out the inspection at the site in Bangalore, India last week and issued a Form 483 with five observations. “We will respond to the FDA with a Corrective and Preventive Action Plan (CAPA) and are confident of addressing these observations expeditiously. We remain committed…

Waters adding automation lab tech by buying Andrew Alliance

Waters Corporation will add an automated software system and robotics technology through the acquisition of Swiss biotech firm Andrew Alliance. Life sciences chromatography and measurement company Waters Corporation has not divulged the financial details of the deal, but a company spokesman said it significantly bolsters its lab tech portfolio through the addition of automated technologies. “Andrew Alliance’s cloud-native software platform and user interface dramatically improves the use of automation technology, enabling more scientists to realize the advantages of repeatability and…

Symbiosis ups aseptic capacity by 25%; plans to expand further in 2020

The expansion addresses sustained demand particularly for cell and gene therapy services, says Scottish CDMO Symbiosis. Contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) Symbiosis Pharmaceutical Services has completed a £1.5 million ($1.8 million) expansion at its site in Stirling, UK – about 40 miles northwest of Scottish capital Edinburgh. The investment increases the firm’s output by about 25%, CEO Colin MacKay told this publication, and will help feed the demand aseptic GMP manufacturing (fill/finish) services. “Expansion of the business relates specifically…