Author Archives: Dan Stanton

Thermo Fisher’s $600m injection: News? No, just business as usual

Thermo Fisher’s $600 million CAPEX has got the trade press salivating. But similar statements, expansions underway, and continued demand mean this is just another day in the pandemic-fueled bioprocess space. Yesterday, Thermo Fisher Scientific issued a press release to announce “more than $600 million in capital investments to expand its bioprocessing production capabilities through 2022.” The firm said: “These investments are expected to more than double the company’s current manufacturing capacity and support biopharma customers as they ramp up to…

Exelixis inks deal with WuXi Bio as it advances ADC ambition

“We really like the ADC space,” says Exelixis as it licenses a panel of monoclonal antibodies from WuXi Biologics. Californian pharma firm Exelixis has paid what it describes as a “modest” upfront payment to Chinese drugmaker WuXi Biologics for the exclusive license of a panel of monoclonal antibodies to a preclinically validated target for the development of antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs), bispecifics, and other biologic applications. “Our agreement with WuXi Bio enhances our growing biotherapeutics portfolio by providing an approach to…

Podcast: Content is king in bioprocessing and beyond

In the latest episode of the BioProcess Insider Expression System, Brian Caine (remember him) talks content, marketing, and communications in the biomanufacturing industry. Brian Caine, founder and publisher of our parent publication BioProcess International, stepped down from his position late last year to pursue new ventures. After a quarter of a century in the life sciences space, he speaks to us about the evolving publishing landscape and while he stresses ‘content is king,’ he warns that you cannot just print…

Amgen buying Five Prime in $1.9bn antibody pipeline booster

Amgen says it will leverage its biologics process development and manufacturing proficiency to bring Five Prime Therapeutics’ gastric cancer antibody bemarituzumab to market. The deal announced yesterday and expected to go through before July sees Amgen bag South San Francisco-based biotech Five Prime Therapeutics for about $1.9 billion in cash. Five Prime’s lead candidate is bemarituzumab, a monoclonal antibody designed to block tumor growth in patients with tumors that overexpress FGFR2b. The company is studying the drug in partnership with…

Biogen to build $200m NC plant to support gene therapy ambitions

Biogen has laid down plans to build a gene therapy manufacturing at its Research Triangle Park (RTP) manufacturing campus in North Carolina. The planned 175,000 square-foot plant – set to create 90 jobs once operational – will support Biogen’s gene therapy pipeline across multiple therapeutic areas. “With this new facility, Biogen is investing in robust and scalable gene therapy manufacturing with the goal of ensuring reliable supply to patients worldwide,” the company said in a statement. “Gene therapy is an…

Pharmaron to buy Allergan Biologics biz from AbbVie for $119m

The addition of a plant in Liverpool, UK, from AbbVie will support ambitions in the biologics and cell and gene therapy space, says service firm Pharmaron. Chinese pharma services firm Pharmaron Beijing Co is set to pay $118.7 million in cash to AbbVie for its Allergan Biologics Limited (ABL) business, located in Liverpool, UK. AbbVie acquired ABL as part of its $63 billion acquisition of Allergan in 2019. The proposed sale – expected to go through in the second quarter…

Avid kicks off second phase of $60-70m capacity expansion

After beginning a $15 million expansion of its Myford, California facility late last year, CDMO Avid Bioservices is starting work on a second extension estimated to cost $45 to $55 million. Contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) Avid Bioservices had been looking to build out the Myford, Tustin, California production facility for several years to prepare for continued high demand from the biologics sector. Plans for a $30-40 million expansion finally materialized last July, but no date or details were…

Industry calls for standardization and simplification to boost manufacturing agility

Executives from Novavax, Fujifilm, and Biocon have called for standardized processes and simplified regulations after a Cytiva-led survey showed improving manufacturing agility is a major priority for biopharma. A survey of around 1,100 senior executives across 20 countries commissioned by bioprocess vendor Cytiva has highlighted industry’s confidence in the biopharma space. With respondents scoring several sectors within the industry, the Biopharma Resilience Index averaged an overall score of 6.6 out of 10. But according to Hannah Freegard, senior editor at…

Moderna investing $400m in mRNA capacity for COVID-19 and beyond

Moderna aims to up capacity for its COVID-19 vaccine to 1.4 billion doses through investment in ‘flexible’ manufacturing, which it says will offset any risk from variants or future overcapacity. What a year it has been for Moderna Therapeutics. For the fourth quarter 2020, the firm reported sales of $200 million – up from nothing the previous year – as regulatory approvals began rolling in for its messenger RNA (mRNA) COVID-19 vaccine mRNA-1273. Since it began working on a COVID-19…

Merck buying Pandion Therapeutics in $1.85bn deal

Merck & Co. will add a pipeline of precision immune modulators and a drug design and discovery platform through the proposed acquisition of Pandion. The deal, announced today, will see Merck & Co. pay $60 per share in cash for the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based firm, totalling roughly $1.85 billion. Pandion is developing therapies for the tissue-specific treatment of patients with autoimmune and inflammatory diseases and organ transplants. Its lead candidate, bispecific antibody PT101, is in early-phase clinical trial for ulcerative colitis…