Author Archives: Dan Stanton

Eli Lilly $880m Prevail buy a ‘good entry point’ into gene therapy

As Eli Lilly agrees to buy Prevail Therapeutics adding a pipeline of neuroscience assets, CEO Dave Ricks hints at further acquisitions in the gene therapy space. The deal announced yesterday will see Eli Lilly pay approximately $880 million upfront for New York-based Prevail Therapeutics, with a further $160 million set to be paid upon the first approval of a product. Prevail, launched in 2017, is developing gene therapies to slow or stop the underlying disease process for patients with neurodegenerative…

Boehringer Ingelheim re-enters ADC space with $1.4bn NBE buy

Having already dabbled in the antibody-drug conjugate (ADC), Boehringer Ingelheim has gone full in, acquiring NBE-Therapeutics for €1.18 billion ($1.4 billion). The deal sees German biopharma firm Boehringer Ingelheim agree to buy private Swiss biotech NBE-Therapeutics, adding an ADC technology platform and a lead compound NBE-002 in Phase I clinical studies for triple negative breast cancer and other solid tumors. When the deal closes – expected in Q1 2021 – “NBE Therapeutics with its team of highly qualified scientists will…

Sartorius: $36m WaterSep buy to further boost filtration ambition

Sartorius will bolster its downstream offering by adding hollow‑fiber membrane manufacturer WaterSep BioSeparations. The deal comes a month after Sartorius closed its €360 million acquisition of BIA Separations, Bioprocess vendor Sartorius Stedim Biotech announced this week it will pay $27 million for Marlborough, Massachusetts-based purification firm WaterSep BioSeparations, with a further $9 million to be paid depending on a defined sales revenue growth by 2023. WaterSep makes hollow-fiber membrane devices and pre-sterilized assemblies for upstream and downstream biopharmaceutical applications. “The…

BMS hit by FDA 483 with 6 observations at Washington CAR-T plant

The Form 483 is a further blow to the potential approval of Bristol-Myers Squibb’s lymphoma CAR-T candidate liso-cel, made at the Bothell, Washington facility. The form comes after the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) visited the facility between October 7 and 16 and lists six heavily redacted observations made about manufacturing processes. These include failures in reviewing any unexplained discrepancies and questions around the reliability of Certificates of Analysis (COAs) from third-party vendors; problems with written records of investigations…

MilliporeSigma accelerates $47m expansions on back of COVID surge

MilliporeSigma has expedited planned capacity expansions at sites in Massachusetts and New Hampshire after seeing a surge in demand for bioprocess equipment from coronavirus therapy and vaccine developers. The Jaffray, New Hampshire facility manufactures single-use components and filtration equipment for biopharma manufacturers. Having added 38,500 square feet of production space last year, MilliporeSigma is now moving forward with a $22 million 25,000 square-foot expansion, adding new production lines and equipment. Concurrently in Danvers, Massachusetts, a 65,000 square-foot expansion – representing…

Fareva enhancer: CureVac to use CDMO for COVID vaccine fill/finish

Messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine developer CureVac has contracted CDMO Fareva for the fill and finish of COVID-19 vaccine candidate. Under terms of the deal – financials of which have not been disclosed – contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) Fareva will provide fill and finish capabilities for CureVac’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate, CVnCoV, from facilities in Val-de-Reuil and Pau, both in France. “We are proud to contribute to the fill and finish manufacturing of this innovative vaccine candidate from CureVac,” said…

Politics and COVID driving manufacturing back to the US, says Avid

“Southern California is not a bad place to be right now,” says CDMO Avid Bioservices as it discusses how politics and COVID-19 have made localized manufacturing more appealing. Contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) Avid Bioservices’s Myford and Franklin facilities are in California. Meanwhile, a third plant is in the works at the Myford site. But speaking last week to discuss its FY2021 Q2 results, CEO Nick Green did not dismiss the idea of expanding its capabilities further afield. “We…

BioLife invests in viral vector and freeze media tech firms

BioLife Solutions has made investments in iVexSol and PanTHERA CryoSolutions, increasing its scope in the cell and gene therapy space. Life science tools firm BioLife Solutions and its partner Casdin Capital have invested a total of $4 million in iVexSol, as part of a $15.2 million Series A financing round, and $2 million in PanTHERA CryoSolution. iVexSol is a Massachusetts firm focused on developing its lentiviral vector (LVV) manufacturing technology platform. The startup claims the platform can produce LVVs at…

Atbtherapeutics secures plant-based production of targeted antibodies

Atbtherapeutics has struck a deal with CDMO iBio for the manufacture and scale-up of its ‘atbody’ candidates using its plant-based expressions system. The deal, financials of which have not been divulged, will see contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) iBio work with atbtherapeutics to industrialize the GMP manufacturing process for atbtherapeutics’ atbodies. ‘atbodies’ are a novel class of biologics developed by Belgium-based biotech atbtherapeutics. They are composed of full-length antibodies, peptide linkers, and toxic peptide payloads, much like an antibody-drug…

Bayer launches CGT unit on back of Bluerock and AskBio acquisitions

Having closed its $2 billion acquisition of Asklepios BioPharmaceutical (AskBio), Bayer has established a cell and gene therapy platform. The Cell and Gene Therapy (C&GT) Platform within Bayer’s Pharmaceuticals division aims to bring various acquisitions, capabilities, and assets together. According to the firm, the unit “will provide an innovation ecosystem within which the different participating partners, whether they be independent companies or strategic collaborators, can operate most effectively. They keep and further develop their passion and biotech spirit, scientific leadership…