Author Archives: Millie Nelson

Merck KGaA to build Asia-Pacific bioprocessing center

Germany’s Merck has signed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (Mou) with the Korean Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) to build a facility in Daejeon City. Merck KGaA said the proposed bioprocessing plant would support commercial manufacturing for biotech and pharmaceutical clients across the Asia-Pacific (APAC) area. Additionally, the firm claimed it plans to work alongside the Daejeon government to support biotech companies that are based in the Daedeok Research complex in Daejeon. Moreover, the collaboration aims to advance the…

J&J forks out $245m to develop CAR-T therapies

Johnson & Johnson has partnered with Cellular Biomedicine Group to advance, produce, and commercialize CAR-T cell therapies for the treatment of B-cell malignancies. The deal sees Chinese company Cellular Biomedicine Group (CBMG) receive an upfront payment of $245 million from J&J’s subsidiary Janssen Biotech. In return, CBMG will grant Janssen access to develop and commercialize its CAR-T assets, except in Greater China. Moreover, Janssen said it will bolster its portfolio in B-cell malignancies. The investigational CD20-directed autologous chimeric antigen receptor…

BioCina awarded $3.3m grant to bolster mRNA capabilities

The Australian CDMO has been awarded a $3.3 million grant by the Australian Government’s National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) to support the demand for mRNA. The contract development manufacturing organization (CDMO) said the grant awarded under the government’s Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) will fund activities with its industry partners to advance technologies for the production of messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines. In September 2020, Bridgewest Australia Holdings, a subsidiary of private investment firm Bridgewest Group, entered the biologics…

Astellas forks out $5.9bn to buy Iveric Bio

Astellas Pharma will add various ophthalmology treatments through the acquisition of US firm Iveric Bio for $5.9 billion. Iveric (formally known as Ophthotech) focuses on developing solutions for retina diseases and its key asset is avacincaptad pegol (ACP), which is in trials for the treatment of geographic atrophy (GA), a condition that can lead to vision loss.Once the deal closes, New Jersey-based Iveric Bio will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Japan’s Astellas. “Iveric Bio has promising programs including ACP,…

Boehringer Ingelheim opens $386m German R&D plant

The Biologics Development Center (BDC) will develop antibodies and therapeutic proteins and manufacture substances for clinical trials, says Boehringer Ingelheim. The €350 million ($386 million) figure is Boehringer Ingelheim’s largest single investment in Germany to date and the company said the Biberach an der Riß,  plant will account for around 50%of the firm’s research pipeline. “With state-of-the-art laboratory and process equipment and a team of highly skilled scientists, the BDC will have the necessary capabilities to develop and produce drug…

Serum Institute to inject another $150m into Biocon

Biosimilar manufacturer Biocon Biologics will receive an additional investment of $150 million from Serum Life Sciences. The two Indian biopharma giants have announced they will withdraw from the original equity structure concerning their strategic alliance announced in September 2021. The deal saw the Serum Institute of India, via its subsidiary Serum Institute Life Sciences Private Limited, take a 15% stake in Biocon valued at around $4.9 billion. Biocon had received authorization from the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) in Karnataka,…

Samsung Biologics Q1 driven by full capacity utilization

Full utilization across its three plants has enabled the CDMO to report 41% revenue growth in the first quarter, says Samsung Biologics.   For the first quarter 2023, contract development manufacturing organization (CDMO) Samsung Biologics reported total revenues of KRW 720.9 billion ($539 million), a 41% increase year-on-year. Net profit for the first three months were KRW 141.8 billion , a slight decrease on Q1 2022’s KRW 146.9 billion, attributed to “the elimination of intercompany transactions” after the acquisition of…

Maxion awarded grant to advance antibody platform

Maxion Therapeutics has been awarded £2 million ($2.4 million) from Innovate UK to develop ion channel antibodies for autoimmune diseases. The grant from Innovate UK is part of its £25 million ($31 million) Biomedical Catalyst fund, which aims to support UK-registered businesses to advance solutions to address health and healthcare challenges. Maxion, a Cambridge, UK based firm, will use the funding to support and develop its KnotBody platform for autoimmune diseases with high unmet clinical need. “KnotBody platform utilizes a…

Industry still a slave to single source supply, say experts

Despite COVID-19 highlighting supply chain issues, biomanufacturers are still using single sources, say experts at BPI West. In the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, single-use bioprocess systems and materials were highlighted as necessary tools in the development and commercial manufacture of potential vaccines and therapies. Said materials and equipment were already in high demand throughout the sector, but the pandemic placed further pressure on raw material and bioprocess equipment supply, with lead times for some single-use components equating to a…

GSK workers to strike across all UK manufacturing sites

UK-based trade union Unite say hundreds of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) manufacturing employees will stage a series of walkouts throughout May at several sites. 750 members of Unite voted for strike action after rejecting pharma giant GSK’s offer of a six percent pay increase and a one-time payment of £1,300 ($1,615). According to the trade union, this represents a “substantial real terms pay cut” due to the current inflation rates. “We recognize that for many of our people, this past year has…