Deal-Making

Access to smart money a key life science growth driver, Dynamk

Bioprocess executives moving to the financial sector shows a strong desire for continued investment in the life sciences space, says Daniella Kranjac from VC firm Dynamk. Reinhard Vogt joined venture capital (VC) firm Dynamk Capital as a new general partner and managing director earlier this year, following an illustrious career in bioprocessing. Bioprocess Insider recently spoke with Vogt about major investment opportunities, but in this follow-up Q&A, Daniella Kranjac, co-founder and managing partner at Dynamk, explains how his expertise strengthens…

New clients and Halozyme drive robust Q3 for Avid

Avid Bioservices has attributed its strong third quarter to the diversification of its customer base and the return of demand from its largest customer Halozyme. When Avid Bioservice became a pure contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) in early 2018, it stated the expansion and diversification of its customer base as one of its near-term strategic objectives. A year on and Avid has reported a robust third quarter fiscal year 2019 driven by an increase in the number of manufacturing…

Sartorius Novasep team on membrane chromatography

Sartorius Stedim Biotech will combine its single-use technology with Novasep’s continuous chromatography BioSC platform to develop a membrane chromatography system. The deal sees the two vendors team up to aid biomanufacturing intensification by developing new technologies in the downstream based on membrane chromatography. “The systems expertise and established BioSC platform at Novasep, and the single-use expertise and technology coming from SSB [Sartorius Stedim Biotech] will both be key factors in the success of this collaboration,” Kathryn Schnorf, head of Product…

CDMO Fujifilm buys Danish plant from Biogen for $890m

Biogen has sold a 90,000 L mammalian cell culture to Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies. The deal propels the CDMO into the top 10 of biomanufacturers based on tank capacity. The manufacturing plant in Hillerød, Denmark will be taken over by contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies, with all the approximately 800 staff members being retained, in the $890 million (€790 million). “The plan is for Fujifilm to use the Hillerød site to produce commercial products for Biogen as well…

Thermo Fisher: Is there a ‘monster deal’ on the horizon?

With its robust balance sheet, a large acquisition by Thermo Fisher within the fragmented life science industry would not be surprising, an Evercore ISI analyst says. Over the past few years, the life science industry has seen continual disruption and consolidation through M&A activity, but according to Evercore ISI analyst Ross Muken the space remains fragmented. Muken noted this following a breakfast meeting with Marc Casper, CEO of Thermo Fisher. Thermo Fisher has been one of – if not –…

In brief: Ambrx and BeiGene ink $450m biologics development deal

The collaboration will use Ambrx’s clinically validated drug discovery technology with BeiGene’s resources to help develop and commercialize next-generation biologics. As part of the deal, Chinese firm BeiGene has paid $10 million (€9 million) upfront to access Ambrx’ Expanded Genetic Code platforms to discover novel biologic drug candidates. However, Ambrx could a further $446 million on potential development, regulatory, and sales-based milestone payments. The technology is designed to allow the incorporation of non-natural amino acids into proteins in both E.…

Xenetic buying Scripps-developed XCART technology

The currently marketed CAR-T therapies cannot discriminate between healthy and malignant B-cells says Xenetic Biosciences, which is buying a technology to enhance the safety and efficacy of such products. The XCART technology platform, developed by the Scripps Research Institute in collaboration with the Shemyakin-Ovchinnikov Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry, will be used by Xenetic Biosciences to develop cell-based therapeutics for the treatment of B-cell Non-Hodgkin lymphomas. The two chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell products on the market – Kymriah (tisagenlecleucel) and…

Biogen buying retinal gene therapy firm Nightstar for $800m

The acquisition will give Biogen access to two potentially first-in-class later-stage gene therapy assets, NSR-REP1 and NSR-RPGR, for ophthalmologic disorders. The $800 million (€706 million) deal sees Biogen bolster its rare disease interest through the addition of Nightstar Therapeutics’ expertise in gene therapy and ophthalmology. Speaking on a conference call to discuss the acquisition, Michel Vounatsos, Biogen’s CEO, said the addition of Nightstar “fits hand-in-glove” with Biogen’s strategy and business. “This transaction will build on our progress of developing and…

NASA teams with Pluristem for cell therapy space program

NASA will conduct studies assessing Pluristem’s placental-derived cell therapies in astronauts who are planning space travel. NASA’s Ames Research Center has been awarded a 2019 NASA Ames Research Innovation Award (ARIA) to look at how Pluristem Therapeutics’ cell therapies can tackle serious medical conditions during travels in space. “During space missions, astronauts are exposed to a challenging environment, which could lead to serious medical conditions, including muscle atrophy,” Efrat Kaduri, a spokesperson from Pluristem, told BioProcess Insider. “Given the promising…

Under fire, BMS insists $74bn Celgene deal ‘next step in proven strategy’

Bristol-Myers Squibb has dismissed claims by investor groups that its proposed acquisition of Celgene “is poorly conceived and ill-advised.” In January, Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) announced it had entered into an agreement to buy Celgene for $74 billion (€65 billion). But this week Starboard Value LP, which holds a stake of 1.63 million shares in BMS, criticized the deal in a letter to fellow shareholders. “We believe that Bristol-Myers is deeply undervalued and the recent announcement of the Company’s proposed acquisition…