Polyplus adds plasmid DNA CDMO Xpress Bio to upstream toolbox

Polyplus tells us how such additions as plasmid DNA maker Xpress Biologics bolsters its upstream offering and can help reduce the costs of cell and gene therapies.

The deal sees cell and gene therapy upstream solutions firm Polyplus add Belgian contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO).

Financials have not been disclosed, but the acquisition brings plasmid DNA and protein production using microbial expression systems to Polyplus’ engineering technology and services portfolio and will bolster the firm’s ambition to improve gene-therapy viral vector upstream process economics and quality.

“We want to be a player in the whole upstream toolbox, to positively impact the process economics,” Roel Gordijn, chief commercial officer at Polyplus, told BioProcess Insider at the Cell & Gene Therapy Manufacturing & Commercialization Congress in Amsterdam, The Netherlands this week.

Coupled with the acquisition of plasmid engineering company e-Zyvec back in February, Polyplus is expanding its presence “in the upstream toolbox to positively impact process economics,” he said. “We want to be the main supplier to help our customers positively impact process economics. We do that by process improvement, by the plasmid design and transfection reagents.”

The firm is focusing on scale-up challenges, “designing reagents that are easier to scale up.”

He continued: “Everybody is using 200 L bioreactors, which are the workhorses in the industry – our goal is to scale up to 500, 1,000, 2,000 L, and with our FectoVIR reagent that is happening. That means that we don’t only provide the reagent, but we help the customer during scale-up. We have a trained applications team in Europe, in the US, and in Asia that help the customer to make the next step in scaling-up.

“You get higher titers, higher scale so in the end lower cost for the therapies.”

In the video interview, Gordijn also spoke of the challenge in reducing time to market for cell and gene products, and how choosing the right reagents early on can avoid reengineering delays further on in the process.

The full video can be viewed here: