Author Archives: BPI Staff

Three-way consortium aims to optimize biologics development

Valitacell, Solentim and Microcoat have teamed up to advance in-line productivity assays to speed up biologics’ development with a €3.5 million grant. In February, Irish biotech Valitacell partnered with biomanufacturing instruments firm Solentim to transform current workflows using a streamlined, automated platform to drive the earlier identification and accelerate development of biologic candidates. The consortium will bring together Valitacell’s ValitaPIX technology with Solentim’s instrumentation to create a system enabling the automation of data-driven analysis and selection of top clones during…

Pfizer takes 15% stake in gene therapy firm Vivet

The deal, worth a potential $636 million, will help accelerate Pfizer’s adeno-associated virus (AAV) directed gene therapy portfolio, the firm says. Emerging French biotech firm Vivet Therapeutics has a gene therapy pipeline based on its adeno-associated virus (AAV) technologies with lead candidate VTX-801 preparing to enter the clinic as a potential treatment for Wilson disease. The firm will now benefit from support from Pfizer after the Big Pharma firm paid around €45 million ($51 million) to acquire a 15% equity…

Shanghai center aims to accelerate cell and gene therapy development

The ATLATL-MACS Center will support biotech firms in the burgeoning cell and gene therapy space and will include access to Miltenyi automated CAR-T preparation instruments. Having spent a year under construction, ATLATL-MACS Center opened this week. The center is a collaboration between ATLATL Innovation Cluster (AIC) – a Chinese innovation support firm offering lab space as a service – and cell and gene therapy vendor Miltenyi Biotec aimed at supporting the growing research in innovative and personalized medicines. ATLATL and…

BioProcess International Europe 2019: Event Planner

BioProcess International Europe has earned its reputation as the leading and largest European bioprocessing industry event. It is a key time each year when the industry connects to share new ideas and innovations across all phases of bioprocessing: from cell line development through upstream and downstream, with bioprocess analytics, viral safety, continuous manufacturing, and vaccines. This year’s meeting on 2–4 April 2019 at the Messe Wien Exhibition Congress Center in Vienna, Austria will attract more than 900 scientists, engineers, and…

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…