Deal-Making

WuXi scouts single-use site for Chinese vaccine joint venture

WuXi Biologics has formed a vaccine production division to service a $3 billion strategic partnership with an unnamed global pharma. WuXi Vaccines is a joint venture between contract development and manufacturing (CDMO) WuXi Biologics and Shanghai-based Hile Bio-Technology. The new entity has been formed to service a Letter of Intent (LOI) inked with a multinational vaccine company. The client has not been disclosed, but WuXi Biologics CEO Chris Chen told Bioprocess Insider the strategic partnership will allow the vaccine developer…

Evotec lays down $90m to buy Just for kickstarting biologics biz

German services firm Evotec has jumped into the biologics development space through the acquisition of Just.Bio, a platform company working to reduce the cost of goods for proteins. Hamburg, Germany-based Evotec uses its expertise and technologies to help pharma firms discover and develop new small molecule therapies and names Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim, Celgene, CHDI, Novartis, Novo Nordisk, Pfizer, Sanofi, Takeda, and UCB among its partners. Through the addition of Just.Bio for $90 million (€81 million) cash, Evotec has increased its…

Cryoport acquires Cryogene for $20.5m, adds Texas biostorage site

The combination of cold-chain logistics and biostorage places Cryoport in good stead for the arrival of allogeneic cell therapies, an analyst says. Cryogene’s proximity to Lonza’s Houston site is also a boon. Cryoport, a provider of temperature-controlled logistics solutions specifically in the cell and gene therapy space, paid $20.5 million (€18.3 million) in cash for Houston, Texas-based biostorage and biobanking firm Cryogene. Cryogene brings a 21,000 square-foot biostorage facility – which specializes storing biological specimens, materials and samples – to…

CDMO round-up: News from Patheon, Samsung and Sekisui

Patheon will produce an antibody for Cantargia; GI Innovation has signed a second development services deal with Samsung BioLogics; Sekisui Diagnostics is growing its contract microbial manufacturing business. Welcome to Bioprocess Insider’s CDMO round-up. First up in our contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) round-up is news from Thermo Fisher’s Patheon, which has been selected to produce CAN04 (nidanilimab) for Cantargia AB. Cantargia already has a contract in place with Celonic (formerly Glycotope Biotechnology) for clinical supply of the monoclonal…

Fungal infection? Biopharma embrace boosts Dyadic’s high titer platform

Dyadic Internationally has struck three deals in two weeks as its industrially-proven fungus-based expression system receives the attention of biotech and Big Pharma. Dyadic reported a busy first quarter 2019 with R&D revenues of $403,000 (€359,000), more than double the same period 2018. The firm also updated investors on recent activity, specifically a wave of deals over the past few weeks supporting its C1 gene expression platform. In April, Australia’s Luina Bio struck a sub-licensing deal with Dyadic, and a…

Subcutaneous success a boon for Halozyme, but biosimilars hit royalties

Roche’s subcutaneous Herceptin (trastuzumab) recently became the third product to be approved using Halozyme Therapeutics’s ENHANZE drug delivery tech. However, Halozyme’s royalties have been hit by biosimilar competition. Halozyme Therapeutics reported what it described as a “strong start to 2019” with revenues of $57 million (€51 million) – up 84% year-on-year – attributed to $30 million upfront license fee from a license agreement struck with argenx in February. That deal gives argenx access to Halozyme’s ENHANZE drug delivery technology to…

Bayer plans $150m Californian biologics plant, creating 100 jobs

Bayer has teamed with GE Healthcare and Fluor to build a single-use clinical manufacturing plant in Berkeley, California to support its biologics pipeline. Plans have been laid for a 40,000 square-foot ‘Cell Culture Technology Center’ on Bayer’s existing Berkeley campus in California, set to begin production in 2021. The site already makes products including Bayer’s recombinant Factor VIII treatment for hemophilia A. At a cost of $150 million (€134 million), the new plant will “enable clinical and launch production of…

Alnylam: ‘Onpattro will springboard us into a global biopharma firm’

Alnylam says it is on course to becoming “a global multiproduct commercial biopharma company” by 2020 as sales of its messenger RNA interference therapeutic Onpattro (patisiran) begin to ramp-up. Alnylam Pharmaceuticals made history in August 2018 when Onpattro (patisiran), its product for the polyneuropathy of hereditary transthyretin-mediated (hATTR) amyloidosis, became the first small interfering ribonucleic acid (siRNA) treatment to be approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Reporting its first quarter 2019 financials, the firm described the milestone…

Alector inks strategic deal with Lonza for early-phase candidates

The changing needs of biopharma have driven some customers towards more strategic development and manufacturing partnerships says Lonza, which has inked such a deal with Alector. The agreement, financials of which have not been divulged, sees biotech Alector secure manufacturing capacity for two of its Phase I neurodegeneration drug candidates at contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) Lonza’s site in Visp, Switzerland. Alector has seven immuno-neurology candidates in development. The deal makes use of Lonza’s Ibex Solutions service, launched in July…

Repligen to buy analytics firm C Technologies for $240m

Repligen Corporation will expand its bioprocessing services into the process analytics space through the acquisition of C Technologies. The deal, set to close in the next few weeks, sees Repligen add Bridgewater, New Jersey-based spectroscopy firm C Technologies to its bioprocess services. The $240 million (€214 million) deal is comprised of $192 million in cash plus $48 million in Repligen common stock. Repligen has focused over the last few years on broadening out its bioprocess portfolio. While it still boasts…