Deal-Making

Repligen strengthens downstream offering with $200m ARTeSYN acquisition

Repligen says it has established itself as a premier player in single-use systems, integrated flow paths, and assemblies following a triumvirate of bolt-on acquisitions. According to Repligen Corporation, ARTeSYN Biosolutions’ single-use chromatography and filtration systems are considered “the gold standards in downstream bioprocessing.” The technologies – along with three manufacturing facilities in Ireland, Estonia, and California – are soon to become part of Repligen’s offering after the firm entered a definitive agreement to buy ARTeSYN for $130 million cash and…

Bayer adds AAV-based gene therapy tech in $2bn AskBio buy

The deal – which could be worth up to $4 billion – bolsters Bayer’s gene therapy ambitions through the addition of an AAV manufacturing platform, clinical-stage candidates, and a CDMO unit. German pharma giant Bayer is paying $2 billion up front with potential milestone payments up to another $2 billion for Research Triangle Park, North Carolina-based Asklepios BioPharmaceutical (AskBio). Founded in 2001 by Jude Samulski, the company’s present chief scientific officer, AskBio is developing gene therapies for neuromuscular diseases, central…

Roche enlists Dyno to bring AI to liver, CNS gene therapies

Roche hopes to bolster its capabilities in liver and central nervous system (CNS) disorder gene therapies by turning to Dyno Therapeutics. Roche made a splash with its acquisition of Spark Therapeutics, whose Luxturna (voretigene neparvovec), a gene therapy for an inherited form of vision loss, was the first such therapy to win FDA approval. Dyno, a two-year-old startup based in Cambridge, Massachusetts meanwhile, has never brought a gene therapy to the market, nor does it currently have its own drug…

Vaxart ups production as oral COVID-19 vaccine dosing begins

Vaxart agrees deal with Kindred Biosciences to expand manufacturing of COVID-19 vaccine candidate. Yesterday, Vaxart announced that the first subject had been dosed in a Phase I study for its oral tablet COVID-19 vaccine candidate. Prior to this, the biotech had agreed with Kindred’s contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) subsidiary, Centaur Biopharmaceutical Services, to increase the scale of production. As a result, Centaur will manufacture clinical trial material for the prospective vaccine out of its Elwood, Kansas, plant at…

Lilly hires Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies to make COVID-19 mAbs

Eli Lilly has added Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies to the list of firms manufacturing its candidate COVID-19 antibody therapies. The contract – which is part of Lilly’s agreement with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation – will see Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies make commercial supplies of the product at its facility in Hillerod, Denmark. Production is expected to start in April next year. The facility – which was acquired from Biogen last year – houses six 20,000 L bioreactors for the production…

Pfizer/BioNTech recruits Rentschler to support COVID-19 vaccine

CDMO Rentschler will be responsible for downstream processing of batches of Pfizer/BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate BNT162b2 from its site in Laupheim, Germany. BNT162b2 is one of the frontrunners in the race to develop a vaccine against COVID-19. The Phase III candidate is based on messenger RNA (mRNA) and being produced at several facilities in Germany run by developer BioNTech. But now BioNTech and its partner Pfizer have selected contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) Rentschler to support production as it…

Fujifilm to use PNI tech to make nanoparticles for VLP’s COVID vaccine

VLP Therapeutics has hired Fujifilm Corp to help it manufacture its COVID-19 vaccine candidate for clinical trials. Under the deal, financial terms of which were not disclosed, Fujifilm will produce the lipid nanoparticle that is used to deliver the mRNA-based vaccine. The firm will also be involved in process and formulation development. The aim is to support efforts to move the vaccine into clinical trials. Mizuki Itou, a spokesperson for Fujifilm Holdings – Fujifilm Corp’s parent company – told us…

Sartorius set to acquire BIA Separations for $423m

Sartorius Stedim Biotech has announced plans to buy Slovenian purification tech firm BIA Separations for €360 million ($423 million). The deal will see Sartorius pay €240 million upfront and €120 million in shares. The firm will also pay tranches of earn-out payments over the next five years. The transaction is expected to complete before the end of the year. Ajdovščina, Slovenia-headquartered BIA develops and manufactures products for purification and analysis of large biomolecules, including viruses, plasmids and mRNA. Sartorius CEO…

Astrea continues acquisition path picking up purification firm Nanopareil

A transformative year for Astrea Bioseparations has culminated in a second acquisition in a month. Philip Vanek, CTO of parent company Gamma Biosciences, talks to us about the deal, the company, and the changing bioprocess landscape. In November 2019, investment firm KKR announced its intentions to buy Prometic Bioseparations from Liminal BioSciences. In January, the deal closed with renamed Astrea Bioseparations becoming the first company in KKR’s $200 million Gamma Biosciences portfolio of life sciences tools subsidiaries. Since then, the firm…

Orgenesis acquires cell therapy specialist Koligo for $15m

Orgenesis agrees merger with regenerative medicine company, gaining access to a commercial cell therapy, a COVID-19 candidate, and bioprinting technology. The two companies have entered into a definitive merger agreement, which is expected to close by the year’s end. Orgenesis will pay $15 million (€12.7 million) in shares of its common stock to Koligo Therapeutic’s investors to secure the deal. Koligo possesses one commercially-available treatment, in the form of Kyslecel, which is an autologous pancreatic islet cell therapy used to…