Author Archives: Gareth Macdonald

Getinge pays $89m for Applikon to boost life sciences biz

Getinge has bought Applikon Biotechnology to expand its life sciences technologies business. Sweden’s Getinge announced it would pay SEK 840 million ($89 million) for Applikon last month. It said the Dutch bioreactor firm’s technology portfolio would bolster its biopharma segment. It cited Applikon’s range of systems for the research and production of vaccines and antibodies as well as those for the production of enzymes and bio-plastics as the main motivation. “Applikon Biotechnology has a strong portfolio of world class bioreactor solutions…

How process optimization brought Bivigam back to the market

ADMA Biologics says a data driven approach was key to bringing its primary immune deficiency disease drug Bivigam back to market. Bivigam (Immune Globulin Intravenous [Human], 10% Liquid) relaunched in the US in August, roughly three years after it was pulled from pharmacy shelves by then owner, Biotest Pharmaceuticals Corporation. Biotest withdrew Bivigam in late 2016 after a US FDA inspection team uncovered “multiple manufacturing inconsistencies and control issues” at its facility in Boca Raton, Florida. ADMA bought Biotest in…

Lonza teams with 3D bioprinting firm Allevi

Lonza has partnered with 3D bioprinting materials firm Allevi citing growing biopharma demand for bespoke organs for drug discovery research. The collaboration – terms of which were not disclosed – will see the Swiss contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) combine its primary cells and culture media with Philidelphia-based Allevi’s range of bioprinter and bioink production technologies. The idea is to cater for biopharma developers looking to manufacture organs and tissues for drug discovery. Lonza said it collaborates with selected…

Korean CDMOs set for Government-backed biopharma boom

South Korean CDMOs are poised for significant growth after the Government said contractors are key to its efforts to encourage drug R&D and manufacturing in the country. In May South Korean President Jae-in Moon announced this summer that the country will invest more than KRW 2 trillion ($1.7B) in the biotechnology and biopharmaceutical industry. Moon said, “We will do our best to create an ecology of innovation tailored to all stages of growth from technological development and approval and licensing…

Dendreon extends lease on Atlanta Provenge plant

Dendreon has extended the lease for the facility in Union City near Atlanta where it makes its prostate cancer cell therapy, Provenge (sipuleucel-T). The Chinese-owned cell therapy firm first leased the 155,000 square-foot facility in 2009, shortly before Provenge was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The extension covers use of the Union City site through to 2029. Christina Yi, chief operations officer at Dendreon said, “Over the past 10 years, we have grown locally, building key…

The 12 trends of Christmas: A look back at 2019

CAR-T partnerships, Biopharma megamergers, biotech funding, and an eye on China. Bioprocess Insider presents the biggest stories of the year… through song! T’was the days before Christmas, And all through the dept. Not a story was breaking and journalists wept. So why not look back at the news of the year, The editor suggested over a beer… In the past twelve months Bioprocess Insider brought to you (To the tune of traditional Christmas song ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’): A…

Novartis inks 5 years vector supply extension with Oxford Biomedica

Oxford Biomedica will keep supplying Novartis with the vectors needed to make Kymriah and other CAR-T products under a five-year deal extension. The new agreement will see Oxford Biomedica receive $75 million for manufacturing, undisclosed process development payments, a facility reservation fee as well as previously agreed royalties on chimeric antigen receptor (CAR-T) product sales. The extension deal also requires the firm ensure at least two manufacturing facilities are capable of commercial supply. Oxford Biomedica will make the vectors at…

VGXI adds RNA suite to tap growing cell and gene therapy market

VGXI has set up an RNA pilot production suite at its facility in Woodlands, Texas citing growing demand from gene therapy developers. The GMP-grade mRNA manufacturing unit will support customer projects from initial plasmid construction through linearization, in vitro translation, mRNA purification, and comprehensive quality control testing according to VGXI. VGXI plans to launch clinical grade mRNA manufacturing services next year. Methodical expansion The pilot plant was set up as part of the VGXI licensing deal with the Houston Methodist…

Charles River bids $380m to buy cell therapy services firm HemaCare

HemaCare will boost Charles River Laboratories’ offering in the cell therapy materials and leukapheresis space – a market predicted to grow to $2 billion in the next decade. The deal will add expand Charles River’s cell therapy offering. HemaCare provides human primary cells as well as services used in the discovery, development and commercial production of cell therapies. Leukapheresis – the separation of white cells from blood samples – is a core HemaCare offering. The firm provides leukapheresis services for…

Avid buoyant despite top client Halozyme’s restructure

Reorganization at key client Halozyme will not hit revenues says Avid Bioservices, which predicts ongoing facility revamp and expanding customer base to drive growth in the rest of FY2020. Halozyme Therapeutics recently said it would focus on its Enhanze delivery technology after HALO-301 – its candidate pancreatic cancer drug – fell short in Phase III trials. The San Diego biotech will close its oncology operations and reduce its headcount by approximately 55%, or approximately 160 positions. (Read Xconomy’s report here).…