Author Archives: Dan Stanton

Jefferson Institute selects Gyros tech for bioprocess training

Philadelphia’s Jefferson Institute for Bioprocessing (JIB) will incorporate buffers and titer kits supplied by Gyros Protein Technologies in its training programs. JIB opened its doors in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania last June with support from Ireland’s National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training (NIBRT). The center has now inked a contract with immunoassay and peptide synthesis firm Gyros Protein Technologies – now part of Mesa Laboratories – to use its immunoassay system and ready-to-use kits as part of its bioprocessing training programs.…

COVID-19: Chinese biomanufacturer CMAB returns to full operations

As doors close in Europe and the US, there is some hope in China with CMAB Biopharma returning to full operations following the COVID-19 pandemic. As the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to close down normal life in Europe, there are signs that normality is beginning to return in China, the country where the outbreak was first reported. According to data from Johns Hopkins University, daily increases in coronavirus cases in China have dropped to fewer than a hundred compared to…

Univercells buys plant, launches CDMO to service booming cell & gene sector

Belgium-based bioprocess tech firm Univercells has launched Exothera, a process development and viral vector manufacturer set to serve the robust cell and gene therapy sector. Fresh from a €50 million ($54 million) investment from global investment firm KKR, Univercells launched cell and gene therapy contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) Exothera today. While the KKR investment supports Univercells’ manufacturing technologies and plays a role in developing and commercializing its bioprocessing equipment, it did not directly drive the creation of the…

One billion doses: CureVac gains $88m to support capacity for COVID-19 mRNA vaccine

CureVac – the German biotech at the center of a Donald Trump acquisition rumor – has received a grant from the European Commission to expedite construction of a plant set to make a potential mRNA vaccine against coronavirus. The European Commission (EC) offered up to €80 million ($88 million) of financial support to German firm CureVac this week in its efforts to support the development and manufacture of a potential vaccine to treat the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). At the time…

Evonetix raises $30m to advance ‘DNA on a chip’ platform

Evonetix will use the funding to accelerate the development of its DNA synthesis technology platform aimed at enabling synthetic biology. We spoke to CEO Tim Brears to find out more. Cambridge, UK-based Evonetix was founded in 2015 with a focus on synthetic biology. In 2018, a Series A round raised $12.3 million and now the firm has raised $30 million in a Series B investment, led by west-coast investor Foresite Capital. The funding will be used to accelerate internal technology…

Grist for the MIL: CDMO Cognate making cell therapies for WindMIL

WindMIL Therapeutics has upped a contract with Cognate BioServices to make its marrow-infiltrating lymphocyte (MIL) cell therapies but says it is developing plans to eventually build in-house manufacturing capabilities. WindMIL, a cancer immunotherapy firm developing autologous cell therapies based on its marrow-infiltrating lymphocytes (MILs), initially began working with contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) Cognate last year. Now the firm has expanded the contract to add extra clinical manufacturing capacity. “We are securing one additional manufacturing suite at Cognate’s Memphis,…

MilliporeSigma: Thermo Fisher’s Qiagen buy ‘no threat’ to bioprocess landscape

Merck KGaA says bioprocess M&A is significantly different than in the pharma world and sees no challenge to its MilliporeSigma division from Thermo Fisher’s recent acquisitions. Last week, bioprocess vendor Thermo Fisher agreed to buy Qiagen for $11.5 billion (€10.1 billion). The deal will bolster Thermo Fisher’s diagnostics business and add sample preparation, assay development and bioinformatics capabilities to its genetic analysis and biosciences capabilities. It is also the latest billion-dollar plus deal for Thermo Fisher, which has in recent…

Lonza looks to Cocoon to drive autologous cell therapy paradigm shift

Lonza has partnered with several academic clinical centers to assess the manufacture of cell therapies in a decentralized setting using its automated Cocoon point-of-care (PoC) platform. Swiss contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) Lonza announced independent research collaborations with Stanford University School of Medicine, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy. The collaborations will see the tech transfer of cell therapy manufacturing processes developed at the respective research institutes into the Cocoon platform. The Cocoon system…

Trouble choosing? BrevisRefero launches CDMO proposal platform

BrevisRefero has launched a Request For Proposal (RFP) platform aimed at helping biopharma better select its third-party manufacturing partners. The pharma world has for years relied on outsourcing partners. Contract research organizations (CROs) are used to carry out clinical trials, third parties manage transport and logistics, and of course contract development and manufacturing organizations (CDMOs) support production of nearly every component of the drug production process. Now the biopharma space can outsource the outsourcing process itself, through an online RFP…

Vaccines, plasma and stem cells: How industry hopes to take on COVID-19

The biopharma space has stepped up its efforts to both prevent and treat the coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) that is threatening to bring the world to its knees. A month is a very long time when it comes to infectious diseases. The first cases and deaths from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) led to a response to contain the virus, but the difficulties of containment and the nature of international travel means cases and deaths have become global. The latest statistics place the…