Deal-Making

Charles River eyeing up HemaCare expansion and more CGT acquisitions

Charles River Laboratories says it is “seriously pursuing” geographical expansion of its recently acquired HemaCare business as it assesses further opportunities in the cell and gene therapy space. In December last year, contract research organization (CRO) Charles River picked up HemaCare for $380 million, bolstering its cell therapy services portfolio. The firm predicted the acquisition would add at least $50 million to its 2020 consolidated revenue and expects revenue growth for the business to substantially increase over the next five…

Catalent’s $315m Masthercell buy: Frothy exuberance or the new CMO norm?

Catalent has completed its $315 million takeover of cell therapy manufacturer Masthercell. But is this latest CMO acquisition a sign of frothy exuberance, or consolidation of the new normal? Dark Horse Consulting’s Anthony Davies thinks the latter. Last week, Catalent announced it had entered into an agreement to buy Orgenesis’ third-party cell and gene therapy business Masthercell for $315 million (€285 million). Yesterday the deal closed, bringing autologous and allogeneic cell therapy manufacturing and analytical services to Catalent’s capabilities. The…

Catalent to buy Orgenesis’ cell therapy CDMO biz for $315m

Last year Catalent entered the gene therapy space, now the CDMO will expand into cell therapies through the acquisition of Masthercell from Orgenesis. The deal includes a plant in Belgium and a site under construction in Texas. The deal sees contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) Catalent paying $315 million (€285 million) for Orgenesis’ third-party cell and gene therapy business Masthercell. Orgenesis will receive around $127 million of this with Masthercell’s backers Great Point Partners and SFPI-FPIM presumably receiving the…

Ori: ‘Partnerships key to bring down cell therapy COGS’

Ori Biotech estimates its automated and closed manufacturing platform can reduce COGS for autologous cell therapies by 60-80% and has teamed with HCATS to help take it to the clinic. One of the key takeaways from this year’s Phacilitate conference last week was the need for partnerships and collaboration to overcome the many issues currently plaguing the cell and gene therapy space, and specifically manufacturing. One such collaboration is between Hitachi Chemical Advanced Therapeutics Solutions (HCATS), the contract development and…

Top 10 advanced therapy milestones of 2019: Patient access takes center stage

CRISPR, capacity, and consolidation powered the cell and gene therapy space in 2019, but a proactive focus on patient access topped Falcon Therapeutics CEO Susan Nichols’ annual roundup. In what has become one of the most anticipated presentations at the Phacilitate conference, Susan Nichols, CEO of cell therapy firm Falcon Therapeutics, laid out the top 10 events of the previous year that have shaped the regenerative medicine space, driving conversation, investment, and innovation. The top spot in 2019 focused on…

Amgen thanks BMS-Celgene merger in creating China opportunity

The opportunistic nature of its partnership with BeiGene threw Amgen into the ever-increasingly attractive China market, management said at JP Morgan. At the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco this week, Amgen reflected on its 2019 M&A activity and counted itself as a beneficiary of rival Big Biopharma firm Bristol-Myers Squibb’s (BMS)  Celgene acquisition for $74 billion (€66 billion). From a product perspective, regulatory divestiture demands led Amgen to pick up the global rights to psoriasis drug Otezla (apremilast)…

Waters adding automation lab tech by buying Andrew Alliance

Waters Corporation will add an automated software system and robotics technology through the acquisition of Swiss biotech firm Andrew Alliance. Life sciences chromatography and measurement company Waters Corporation has not divulged the financial details of the deal, but a company spokesman said it significantly bolsters its lab tech portfolio through the addition of automated technologies. “Andrew Alliance’s cloud-native software platform and user interface dramatically improves the use of automation technology, enabling more scientists to realize the advantages of repeatability and…

Yposkesi to make Genethon and Sarepta’s DMD gene therapy

Genethon and Sarepta have contracted Yposkesi to make AAV material for a Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) gene therapy they are developing. The therapy in question is called GNT0004. It consists of an AAV-type viral vector and a shortened version of the dystrophin gene (microdystrophin). According to preclinical data published in the journal Nature the therapy is able to produce significant restoration of muscle function with stabilization of clinical symptoms. Under the new manufacturing deal Yposkesi will produce clinical and large-scale…

In with the new… Deal completions from Catalent, CRL and Janssen

It’s a happy new year for Catalent, Charles River and Janssen, which have closed their respective acquisitions of a fill/finish facility, cell therapy services firm and an investigative mAb. In December, Roche completed its $4.3 billion (€3.9 billion) acquisition of commercial gene therapy firm Spark Therapeutics, 10 months after the deal was announced. But the Swiss Biopharma is not the only firm to begin 2020 with new assets, as several others in the life science space have announced the completion…

Getinge pays $89m for Applikon to boost life sciences biz

Getinge has bought Applikon Biotechnology to expand its life sciences technologies business. Sweden’s Getinge announced it would pay SEK 840 million ($89 million) for Applikon last month. It said the Dutch bioreactor firm’s technology portfolio would bolster its biopharma segment. It cited Applikon’s range of systems for the research and production of vaccines and antibodies as well as those for the production of enzymes and bio-plastics as the main motivation. “Applikon Biotechnology has a strong portfolio of world class bioreactor solutions…