Author Archives: Gareth Macdonald

Autolus hires MolMed to add vector flexibility

Autolus Therapeutics says hiring MolMed as a contractor for its CAR-T programs was about adding flexibility. The biotech announced contracted MolMed to develop and manufacture vectors for its candidate CAR-T cancer therapy programs this week. Under the deal MolMed will make viral vectors to support Autolus’ various clinical trial programs. An Autolus spokeswoman told us “MolMed is a future supplier. “The MolMed relationship is Autolus taking the normal and prudent step to build flexibility and parallel supply for vector.” The…

Emergent to make Novavax’s Covid-19 vaccine candidate for Ph I trials

Emergent says Covid-19 vaccine candidate it is making for Novavax will be ready for trials within four months. Novavax hired Emergent BioSolutions to make the experimental vaccine this week. The vaccine was developed using Novavax’s recombinant protein nanoparticle platform and Matrix-M adjuvant technology. Emergent said it has already started work on making clinical trial supplies of the vaccine, explaining that drug substance will be produced at the Baltimore-Bayview facility while the product itself will be made at its Baltimore-Camden plant.…

Sartorius to reduce virgin plastic use as part of recycling pact

Sartorius has signed up to a Europe-wide agreement focused on improving how single-use plastics are recycled. The European Plastics Pact, which was launched last week, is a voluntary scheme designed to improve how plastic is recycled. Signatories will collaborate to develop processing techniques and common standards. A Sartorius spokesman told us, “We have kicked off an initiative to build our plastic strategy for our single-use products on the basis of a circular plastics economy. This strategy is oriented toward the…

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…