Author Archives: BPI Staff

Sartorius Novasep team on membrane chromatography

Sartorius Stedim Biotech will combine its single-use technology with Novasep’s continuous chromatography BioSC platform to develop a membrane chromatography system. The deal sees the two vendors team up to aid biomanufacturing intensification by developing new technologies in the downstream based on membrane chromatography. “The systems expertise and established BioSC platform at Novasep, and the single-use expertise and technology coming from SSB [Sartorius Stedim Biotech] will both be key factors in the success of this collaboration,” Kathryn Schnorf, head of Product…

BioVectra: $135m boost for microbial CDMO’s Canadian plants

The Mallinckrodt subsidiary will benefit from a Canadian government grant to help expand microbial fermentation sites in Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia. In 2014, Mallinkrodt Pharmaceuticals acquired Canadian contract manufacturing organization (CMO) BioVectra as part of its $5.6 billion acquisition of Questcor Pharmaceuticals. The CMO has 64,000 L of fermentation bioreactor capacity across its four manufacturing plants in Atlantic Canada – three in Prince Edward Island and one in Nova Scotia. Now the sites are set to expand through…

In brief: Ambrx and BeiGene ink $450m biologics development deal

The collaboration will use Ambrx’s clinically validated drug discovery technology with BeiGene’s resources to help develop and commercialize next-generation biologics. As part of the deal, Chinese firm BeiGene has paid $10 million (€9 million) upfront to access Ambrx’ Expanded Genetic Code platforms to discover novel biologic drug candidates. However, Ambrx could a further $446 million on potential development, regulatory, and sales-based milestone payments. The technology is designed to allow the incorporation of non-natural amino acids into proteins in both E.…

Xenetic buying Scripps-developed XCART technology

The currently marketed CAR-T therapies cannot discriminate between healthy and malignant B-cells says Xenetic Biosciences, which is buying a technology to enhance the safety and efficacy of such products. The XCART technology platform, developed by the Scripps Research Institute in collaboration with the Shemyakin-Ovchinnikov Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry, will be used by Xenetic Biosciences to develop cell-based therapeutics for the treatment of B-cell Non-Hodgkin lymphomas. The two chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell products on the market – Kymriah (tisagenlecleucel) and…

BioProcess International West: Event Planner

BioProcess International US West is the leading phase-based bioprocessing event for accelerating promising biologics toward commercial success. Whereas most bioprocessing event sessions are broken out by departmental function — e.g., analytical, upstream, and downstream — the BPI US West sessions are defined by stage of development, providing drug developers a unique opportunity to break down silos across multiple departments to discuss today’s leading solutions toward improving the speed, lowering the cost, and increasing the quality/safety of biologics in development. Each…

Adaptimmune on the merits of inhouse T-cell production

Adaptimmune says the only way an autologous T-Cell firm can control the evolution of production technologies is to have the process under its own roof. Adaptimmune Therapeutics began working with contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) PCT – now known as Hitachi Chemical Advanced Therapeutics Solutions (HCATS) – in 2013 and entered into a five-year strategic partnership in 2016 for the manufacture of its autologous SPEAR (Specific Peptide Enhanced Affinity Receptor) T-cell cancer immunotherapies. But the firm has also been…

Novartis licenses Factor XI Ab to Blackstone-backed $250m bio firm

Newly launched firm Anthos Therapeutics has licensed Novartis candidate MAA868 and will look to develop it for cardiovascular disorders. Novartis retains a minority stake in the Blackstone-backed biopharma. Private investment firm Blackstone Life Sciences launched this week Anthos Therapeutics, a biopharma company focused on advancing next-generation targeted therapies for high-risk cardiovascular patients. The company, backed by $250 million (€220 million) of Blackstone funds, will look to a Novartis candidate as a potential anti-thrombotic therapy to treat patients currently underserved by…

Merck accessing cancer vaccine tech through $300m acquisition

Merck & Co. will acquire Immune Design for $300 million, adding cancer immunization and adjuvant systems technologies to its portfolio. The deal, expected to close early in the second quarter of 2019, sees Merck & Co. (known as MSD outside of North America) acquire late-stage Californian immunotherapy firm Immune Design for $5.85 (€5.15) per share in cash, totaling around $300 million. “Our primary interest to acquire Immune Design is related to their unique portfolio of approaches to cancer immunization and…

FDA guidelines aim to improve quality and lower costs

The US FDA has issued draft guidance intended to promote innovation in pharmaceutical development and manufacturing. Entitled ‘Program for the Recognition of Voluntary Consensus Standards Related to Pharmaceutical Quality Guidance for Industry,’ the draft guidance has been produced by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to informally recognize voluntary consensus standards relating to pharmaceutical quality for products under the jurisdiction of the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER). “The overall goal of this program is to promote development…

‘Impressive roster of participants’ brings $42m to PureTech affiliate

Vor Biopharma, founded by PureTech, has raised $42 million to support its hematopoietic stem cell (HSC)-based candidate through Series A financing round. Vor Biopharma, co-founded by biopharma firm PureTech, will use the $42 million (€37 million) to advance its lead HSC-based preclinical candidate for the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and to further build its pipeline to treat hematologic malignancies. According to Jefferies equity analyst Peter Welford, the Series A financing round included an “impressive roster of participants,’ led…