Author Archives: Millie Nelson

Ins & Outs: ‘CDMOs are now the leaders in the biomanufacturing space’

BioProcess Insider figuratively sat down with bioprocess veteran Roger Lias, as the new chief commercial officer of Vibalogics, to discuss his different experiences and predictions for the CDMO market. Lias has served in senior roles at Diosynth, Lonza, KBI Biopharma, Cytovance Biologics and Eden Biologics. More recently Lias served as chief executive officer at Avid Bioservices before joining Indian drugmaker Stelis Biopharma, where he was responsible for transitioning its manufacturing models. His latest career move takes him to US and…

BioNTech to develop mRNA-based malaria vaccine

BioNTech aims to develop the first vaccine for malaria using the same mRNA technology behind its COVID-19 success. BioNTech’s BNT162b2 became the first messenger RNA (mRNA) COVID-19 vaccine to receive emergency use approval in December 2020. Now the German firm has launched its Malaria project, which aims to produce a successful malaria vaccine and create sustainable production and supply in Africa. According to the firm, it will evaluate various vaccine candidates that feature known malaria trargets such as the circumsporozoite protein…

Resilience forks out $110m for Bluebird site in cell therapy partnership

Resilience will acquire Bluebird’s North Carolina lentiviral vector manufacturing facility for $110 million, kickstarting an alliance to drive R&D and cell therapy production. Under the terms of the deal, Resilience will acquire Bluebird’s 125,000 square-foot manufacturing plant in Durham, North Carolina, which it only opened two years ago after acquiring the facility in November 2017 and investing $80 million in the site. Bluebird will receive the $110 million upfront and have preferred lentiviral vector (LVV) production access. The firm claims…

Catalent aims to shorten development timelines through GPEx tech launch

Catalent says its GPEx Lightning platform can save up to twelve weeks on customer program timelines by combining multiple technologies into a single process. Contract development manufacturing organization (CDMO) Catalent has created GPEx Lightning, which it says combines gene insertion activities to minimize drug substance development time by up to three months. The tech is based on its long-standing GPEx tech platform. “By adapting the cell line and incorporating some enhancements into the process, we were able to increase the…

Belgian Biotechs unite to manufacture llama-based COVID antibodies

Mithra Pharmaceuticals will provide fill-finish services for ExeVir, which is developing a llama-derived antibody therapy to treat and prevent COVID-19. The deal, of which no financial details have been disclosed, will see contract development manufacturing organization (CDMO) Mithra utilize its fill-finish capabilities for ExeVir’s candidate, XVR011. XVR011 is a single domain-based anti-COVID-19 antibody. It is derived from llama antibodies, which are smaller than human antibodies and therefore can attach to parts of a virus that are hard to access for…

Cytiva & Pall: Chromotography, cell culture and SUS to benefit from $1.5bn boost

The investment will expand manufacturing capacity for life sciences products at thirteen Danaher Corporation sites run by Cytiva and Pall to meet customer demand.  The $1.5 billion investment is in addition to Cytiva’s $500 million growth strategy that was announced in September 2020 and  announced in January, and will fund expanding existing facilities as well as constructing new facilities in the US and the UK over the course of two years. More than $600 million will be invested in chromatography…

Samsung Biologics to manufacture Kineta’s antibody immunotherapy

Korean CDMO Samsung Biologics will develop and provide manufacturing services to support IND filing for Kineta’s anti-VISTA antibody candidate. Contract development manufacturing organization (CDMO) Samsung Biologics has signed a partnership agreement to provide end-to-end services for Kineta’s anti-V-domain immunoglobulin suppressor of T cell activation (anti-VISTA) candidate KVA12.1, which aims to treat solid tumors. Preclinical studies have shown KVA12.1 to have single agent anti-tumor activity and that targeting VISTA along with programmed cell death-1 (PD-1), PD ligand 1 (PD-L1), or cytotoxic…

Catalent ploughs $100m in Italian facility to up drug substance production

Catalent will add biologics drug substance production capabilities to its Italian plant, which it says will support demand from the European market. The $100 million investment will see contract development manufacturing organization (CDMO) Catalent install two 2,000 L single-use bioreactors in newly constructed manufacturing suites at its Anagni, Italy facility it acquired from Bristol Myers Squibb in June 2019. Additionally, the firm will build infrastructure required to house a further six 2,000 L single-use bioreactors and the first phase of…

BioNTech adds Kite’s T cell platform and production facility

BioNTech ups its production capacity to support cell therapy clinical trials by acquiring Kite’s R&D platform and gaining a facility in Gaithersburg, Maryland. The deal, of which financial details have not been disclosed, sees BioNTech acquire Gilead Sciences’ Kite Pharma’s solid tumor neoantigen T cell receptor (TCR) R&D technology. The deal will also see BioNTech take over the lease at the Gaithersburg manufacturing facility. BioNTech became a household name after BNT162b2 became the first messenger RNA (mRNA) COVID-19 vaccine to…

Regeneron to invest $1.8bn at Tarrytown, NY campus

Regeneron will invest $1.8 billion over six years to expand its manufacturing, support, and research facilities in New York. According to a press release from the New York Governor’s office, Regeneron plans to expand its R&D facilities at the firm’s Westchester Country Campus in Tarrytown. The investment encompasses Regeneron’s plans that were announced in April to inject $480 million to construct a preclinical facility at its Tarrytown campus. “This new investment in our workforce and laboratory spaces will allow for…