Author Archives: Gareth Macdonald

Samsung Bio lands MAb development contract with STCube

Samsung Biologics has landed another development project when STCube asked it to help it with a cancer monoclonal antibody candidate. The South Korean contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) will provide cell line and process development services. It will also manufacture material for preclinical development and human trials. The monoclonal antibody in question targets an unspecified protein – called STT-003 by STCube – that is found on the surfaces of cancer cells. According to STCube, because cancer cells express high…

Culture Biosciences raises $15m for bioreactor capacity hike

Culture Biosciences will use new funding to increase bioreactor capacity and create additional monitoring software. The San Francisco contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) announced the completion of a $15 million (€13.4 million) series A financing round this week, explaining it had attracted support from new venture capital backers as well as existing investors. Culture Biosciences said it will use the cash to triple bioreactor capacity and to create additional cloud-based biomanufacturing R&D software monitoring and development tools. CEO Will…

Thermo’s $11.5bn bid for Qiagen accepted

Thermo Fisher Scientific is poised to add coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 test kit to its diagnostics business after agreeing an $11.5bn takeover of Qiagen NV. The firms announced the agreement on Tuesday, valuing Qiagen at $11.5 billion, or €39 ($43.4) per share. Thermo CEO Marc N. Casper said, “This acquisition provides us with the opportunity to leverage our industry-leading capabilities and R&D expertise to accelerate innovation and address emerging healthcare needs. “For shareholders, we expect the transaction to be immediately accretive and…

Staffing: Cell and gene therapy sector needs reinforcements

Cell and gene therapy manufacturers need staff with laboratory skills and GMP know-how, according to an expert from Texas A&M. Cell and gene therapies attract a lot of attention. In recent years products like Yescarta, Kymriah and Zolgensma and the debate about their prices – $373,000, $475,000 and $2.1m respectively – have dominated the headlines. In industry circles the focus has shifted to the manufacture of such therapies. Developers are working to ensure there are sufficient vectors, or to make…

Ori biotech adds traceability to cell therapy platform in deal with TrakCel

Ori Biotech has partnered with software firm TrakCel to add supply chain monitoring technology to its cell and gene therapy manufacturing system. The non-exclusive deal – financial terms of which were not disclosed – will allow cell and gene therapy developers and contract development and manufacturing organizations (CDMOs) that use the Ori platform to monitor manufacturing processes in real-time using Trakcel’s technologies. The firms plan to develop “suitable points of integration in order for a shared data platform to be…

Transcenta claims perfusion-based mAb production ‘milestone’

Transcenta says efforts to intensify perfusion-based mAb production platform should give it competitive edge. It made the claim last week, also announcing that tweaks to its perfusion platform allowed it to increase productivity to greater than 4 g/L per day for multiple cell lines. Such intensification is key to Transcenta’s competitive strategy according to CEO Xueming Qian, who citied demand for sustainable supply of lower cost, higher quality medicines as key. “With drug pricing and affordability at the top of…

Orgenesis teams with Johns Hopkins’ in first post Masthercell sale PoC deal

Johns Hopkins University will use Orgenesis’ point-of-care processing technology for cell and gene therapy research in a collaboration announced this week. The US research University has licensed access to Orgenesis’s ‘point-of-care’ (PoC) platform which – as the name suggests – is used to develop and process cell therapies in the clinic Orgenesis CEO Vered Caplan said, “Our POCare platform is designed to provide unique cell and gene therapy solutions in a cost effective, high quality and scalable manner, using closed…

First J&J, now Sanofi teams with BARDA to tackle coronavirus

Sanofi Pasteur has joined Johnson & Johnson as the second firm to team up with BARDA to take on coronavirus (COVID-19). According to a statement, Sanofi Pasteur will use recombinant DNA tech to make a vaccine against the virus that has sickened tens of thousands and resulted in hundreds of deaths since it emerged in China last year. The plan is to use the Sanofi technology to reverse engineer proteins isolated from the virus to produce DNA sequences. These sequences…

Manufacturing quality systems first defense against hackers says expert

An effective quality management system is a must for biopharmaceutical firms looking to protect their data assets against hackers according to a leading cybersecurity expert. Increasingly biopharmaceutical manufacturing relies on data. Ensuring optimal conditions are maintained in bioreactors or that chromatography systems are functioning properly depends on monitoring systems that feed information back to control systems. Likewise, data is key to how biopharmaceutical products are tracked through packaging and distribution systems to ensure they get to the correct hospital, pharmacy…