Author Archives: Millie Nelson

Novo Nordisk Foundation invests $343m to build stem-cell research center

Novo Nordisk Foundation will invest up to $343 million over a ten-year period to establish an international research center focused on stem cell medicine. The center is a partnership entitled reNEW between the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, Australia, and Leiden University Medical Center, The Netherlands. The aim of the collaboration is to drive future stem cell-based treatments. The governing hub will be based at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen and Melissa…

BioNTech and Crescendo partner to develop precision immunotherapies

The collaboration sees BioNtech combine its multimodal immunotherapy expertise with Crescendo’s Humabody VH platform to produce precision immunotherapies. Crescendo Biologics, a clinical-stage immuno-oncology company developing targeted T cell enhancing therapeutics will contribute its transgenic platform to deliver fully human heavy-chain antibody domains (Humabody VH) against targets selected by BioNTech. This includes messenger RNA (mRNA) based antibodies, as well as engineered cell therapies that have the potential to treat patients with cancer and other diseases. Humabodies are the smallest part of…

TTP and CellFiber partner to ‘revolutionize’ CGTs

TTP’s experience will enable CellFiber’s technology to provide affordable cell production with a higher yield and better product quality, says firm. TTP, a technology and product development firm based in Cambridge, UK, says its experience in designing systems for production at scale and CellFiber’s technology has the potential to revolutionize the manufacture of cell therapies. Stem cell therapy can treat various diseases, including advanced Parkinson’s disease, cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. TTP claims that producing large quantities of these cells is complex, making…

Performance Cell acquired by PE, renamed Cellipont Bioservices

San Diego CDMO Performance Cell Manufacturing has been acquired by private equity firm Great Point Partners and will operate as Cellipont Bioservices.   Performance Cell Manufacturing (PCM), a contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) that has manufactured cell therapies for more than fifteen years, has been acquired by Great Point Partners (GPP) for an undisclosed fee. This is the latest move in a series of CDMO investments by GPP, which includes Cytovance Biologics, MaSTherCell (later acquired by Catalent in February…

Takeda drives immuno-oncology portfolio with Adaptate buy

The acquisition will add Adaptate’s novel antibody-based delta T-cell engager platform to Takeda’s immune-oncology portfolio. Takeda is set to acquire UK firm Adaptate Biotherapeutics, a company focused on developing antibody-based therapeutics for the adaptation of variable delta 1 (Vδ1) gamma delta (γδ) T cells. In addition to gaining Adaptate’s antibody-based γδ T cell engager platform, Takeda will also obtain its preclinical candidate and discovery pipeline programs. “Adaptate’s γδ T-cell engagers are engineered to specifically activate a γδ T cell-mediated immune…

Pfizer bolsters mRNA through deals with Acuitas, Codex, and Beam

Pfizer has signaled its intention of taking mRNA beyond COVID-19 through a triad of deals announced on the first day of JP Morgan’s annual healthcare conference. Pfizer has already seen major messenger RNA (mRNA) success with BioNTech and their respective COVID-19 vaccine, BNT162b2 (Comirnaty). Now, the firm has announced its plans at JP Morgan’s healthcare conference to become an mRNA powerhouse through a triumvirate of deals. The deals, described below, see Pfizer team up with Acuitas Therapeutics, Codex DNA, and…

Lithuania’s talent pool ‘ready and waiting’ to service biopharma needs, says development agency

Biopharma companies around the world have reported concerns regarding talent shortages across the industry, but Invest Lithuania says it has a large talent pool ready and waiting. There is a general consensus among professionals that the amount of talent coming through is not reflective of the huge investment in capacity being seen across the Life Sciences industry. Companies such as Lonza, SwedenBIO, and pharma recruitment firm Lead Candidate have expressed their talent shortage concerns at different points last year. However,…

ChargePoint enters liquid and fluid space with Terracon buy

ChargePoint Technology has acquired Terracon Corporation, a single-use product and accessory manufacturer used in the biopharma and life science sector. The deal sees powder transfer firm ChargePoint pay an undisclosed fee for Terracon, a company that designs, develops, and produces single-use products and accessories that can be used for transferring, mixing, and storing liquids and fluids. According to ChargePoint, the acquisition “brings us into the liquid and fluids handling space, which crosses over from a processing perspective with our AseptiSafe…

Merck KGaA to acquire Exelead in $780m deal

Germany’s Merck will strengthen its mRNA offerings through the $780 million acquisition of CDMO Exelead. Merck will strengthen its mRNA offerings within its biopharma services division MilliporeSigma after signing a definitive agreement to acquire contract development manufacturing organization (CDMO) Exelead. Exelead specializes in injectable formulations, such as lipid nanoparticles (LNPs) used in messenger RNA (mRNA) therapeutics.  The demand for mRNA capabilities in the biopharma sector has been driven by COVID-19 vaccine success. Pfizer and BioNTech’s BNT162b2 (Comirnaty) became the first mRNA COVID-19 vaccine to receive emergency…

FDA halts US factory inspections amid omicron concerns

The US FDA has temporarily paused its inspectional activities to ensure the safety of its staff and the firms it regulates due to the spread of the omicron variant. The Omicron variant, which was first discovered in November 2021, has already caused global disruption, despite reports from the UK suggesting the risk of hospitalization is about one-third of the Delta variant. With case numbers surging, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) decided to implement specific temporary changes to its…