Author Archives: Millie Nelson

CGT Catapult looks to Edinburgh to create an iPSC cluster

CGT Catapult says its venture into Edinburgh, Scotland and northern England will focus on the development and production of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). The Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult (CGT Catapult) announced in June 2021 that it would construct offices and laboratories in Edinburgh, Scotland to support the cell and gene therapy sector and drive product development but did not disclose a specific modality. Now, the organization has confirmed to BioProcess Insider that its move to create a cluster…

KBI expansion strategy in question following CEO’s swift exit

Just six months after accepting the role, Mark Womack is no longer serving as the CEO of KBI Biopharma and Selexis. The firm released a statement detailing that Tim Lowery, president of JSR Life Sciences, has been appointed as interim CEO as the company searches to identify someone for a permanent position. The reasons behind his departure have not been disclosed despite BioProcess Insider reaching out to Womack directly for additional information. However, a spokesperson for KBI told us that…

Thermo Fisher launches AAV tech to reduce costs by 50%

Thermo Fisher Scientific has introduced the Gibco CTS adeno-associated virus (AAV)- MAX Helper Free production system, which it says can save time and reduce costs by 50%. According to the firm, the all-in-one solution production system is “the only product of its kind that is manufactured under cGMP conditions to enable large-scale applications.” Additionally, Thermo says that the system has been designed to meet both clinical and commercial demands of AAV-based gene therapies, as well as bringing products to market…

eBook: Vaccines — From Disease Prevention to Treatment

For over two years, the biopharmaceutical industry has revolved around rapid development, manufacture, and rollout of vaccines in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now as the world reverts to some sense of normality, demand has plummeted for the likes of J&J’s viral vector vaccine and Moderna’s messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine, resulting in the lowering of financial forecasts, ending of manufacturing contracts, and freeing of production capacity. But where do vaccines — the great pharmaceutical success story of the past few…

MilliporeSigma invests $300m to expand biosafety capacity in Maryland

MilliporeSigma says global demand has driven its decision to increase biosafety testing capacity at its Rockville, Maryland facility. MilliporeSigma – the life sciences division of Germany’s Merck KGaA – has invested more than €290 million ($300 million) at its Rockville site, which it claims is the largest biosafety testing investment in the company’s history. The contract development manufacturing organization (CDMO) says the decision to expand is in response to the global demand for these services increasing at a double-digit rate. “Biosafety testing…

Bridgewest picks up another Pfizer plant down under

Private investment firm Bridgewest Group has signed a definitive agreement to buy Pfizer’s sterile injectable manufacturing facility  in Western Australia. Pfizer’s manufacturing facility is located in Bentley, a Perth suburb in Western Australia. The plant is authorized to supply drug products in over 90 countries across the globe and approvals have been granted by various regulatory bodies, including the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), and the European Union (EU). According to Bridgewest, the facility has blow…

WuXi Vaccines buys Harbour BioMed China facility

The manufacturing facility in Suzhou, China will support vaccine development and production for its global partners, says WuXi Vaccines. Contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) WuXi Vaccines says the facility acquired from Harbour BioMed will be its first standalone vaccine development and production plant located in China. “Safe and effective vaccines play an increasingly important role in preventive healthcare,” Jian Dong, CEO of WuXi Vaccines told us. “There is increasing demand for vaccines CDMO services from our global clients as…

Aragen sets it sights on biologics manufacturing with India facility

CDMO Aragen Life Sciences plans to build a biologics manufacturing plant in Bangalore, India, the firm told BioProcess Insider at CPhI Frankfurt. Chief commercial officer Ramesh Subramanian of the contract development manufacturing organization (CDMO) Aragen says the facility, of which financial details have not been disclosed, will manufacture monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) “for now.” According to the firm, the Bangalore facility will initially include 2 x 500 L sub-unit bioreactors but has the capacity to add a further 2 x 2,000…

BioNTech buys Novartis plant to bring mRNA to Singapore

BioNTech is set to acquire a Novartis small molecule plant molecule site in Singapore and will transform it into the country’s first mRNA manufacturing facility.   In May 2021, BioNTech said it was aiming to bring messenger RNA (mRNA) manufacturing to Asia by building a facility in Singapore. 18 months on and the firm has now entered into an agreement to acquire a GMP-certified manufacturing facility on the island-state from pharma giant Novartis. “Novartis announced today that it has entered…

Novartis cuts 275 jobs at its IL plant to consolidate Zolgensma production

Novartis is closing the doors to its gene therapy manufacturing plant in Libertyville, Illinois following a manufacturing site network evaluation. According to Novartis, the reshape of the company will mean that operations concerning the production of Zolgensma (onasemnogene abeparvovec), a one-time spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) gene therapy — approved in the US in May 2019 –  will be consolidated to its Durham, North Carolina facility. “Following a comprehensive manufacturing site network evaluation, Novartis has made the difficult decision to cease operations at…