Deal-Making

Ins & outs: Endsulin boosts board with ex-AveXis execs

Diabetes gene therapy firm appoints two ex AveXis execs to its board. Meanwhile, there are high level changes at  Merck, AlloVir and Abeona Therapeutics. Sit back, relax, and enjoy reading BioProcess Insider’s Ins & Outs. Former founding chief science and chief finance officers at AveXis, Brian Kaspar and Thomas Dee will join Endsulin to help develop the firm’s gene therapy against Type 1 diabetes. Enduslin is a company that is solely targeting Type 1 diabetes (T1D) with a potential one-time…

GSK to support manufacturing of Novavax’ COVID-19 vaccine

GSK will manufacture up to 60 million doses of Novavax’ COVID-19 vaccine candidate, NVX-CoV2373 for distribution in the UK. GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) will provide fill-finish services for Novavax’ COVID-19 vaccine at its Barnard Castle facility in Durham, UK. A rapid tech-transfer between the two firms will begin immediately, with manufacturing expected to begin as early as May 2021. GSK will prepare vials of the final vaccine in the last stage of manufacturing and package them for distribution and use, with both…

JSR launches biotech fund to advance its life science business

JSR has launched a corporate venture fund focusing on small and emerging biotech, bringing customers to its life sciences services portfolio.   Initially, the fund will prioritise evolving life science companies that have the platforms, technologies and approaches to support life science research, manufacturing, development, and the ability to improve therapeutic outcomes. JSR Life Sciences is set to leverage the investment to fund several deals in the next few years in a bid to continue identifying and advancing therapies and…

Oravax launches to advance oral COVID-19 vaccines

Oramed Pharmaceuticals and Prema Biotech have formed Oravax Medical, a joint venture focused on developing oral COVID-19 vaccines. The joint venture company, Oravax, will use India-based Premas Biotech’s vaccine technology combined with Israel-based Oramed’s POD oral delivery technology. Oravax’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate is a virus like particle (VLP) that targets three structural proteins, which has the potential to provide protection against emerging variants of coronavirus. Furthermore, the oral administration of the vaccine may enable easier distribution and large-scale inoculation without…

Curi Bio receives $6m funding boost for human stem cell platforms

The financing will support Curi Bio’s 2D and 3D platforms, which aim to improve the predictivity of human stem cell-derived tissue for drug discovery. Curi Bio’s platform technologies use human iPSC-derived cells, tissue-specific biosystems, and AI-enabled data analytics to help accelerate the discovery of therapeutics. The Series A financing round, led by Dynamk Capital, will help grow the business and validate the tech to show the need for predictive and mature human stem cell platforms to close the gap between…

Selexis teams with Tallac in latest cell line deal

Selexis has entered a cell line development partnership with Tallac Therapeutics to advance immunotherapies used to treat cancer. Both companies have signed a service agreement and a commercial license agreement to strengthen Tallac’s Toll-like Receptor Agonist Antibody Conjugate (TRAAC) platform. The platform allows “systemic delivery of a differentiated and targeted TLR9 agonist (T-CpG) for immune activation.” The collaboration will also see Tallac employ Selexis’ SUREtechnology platform, which is used to advance the research cell banks to enable immunotherapy candidates that…

Stirling Ultracold fifth acquisition in 2 years for BioLife

Supplier of services and bioproduction tools BioLife Solutions has merged with developer and manufacturer of ultra-low temperature freezers Stirling Ultracold. “We continue to execute on our M&A strategy with another acquisition that superbly complements our product portfolio. Combining Stirling’s -20°C to -86°C freezer systems with our liquid nitrogen products provides complete ultra-low temperature cold-chain infrastructure critical for personalized medicine,” said BioLife’s CEO, Mike Rice. The transaction is expected to close during the early second quarter of 2021 with BioLife planning…

WuXi Bio set for 430,000 L biomanufacturing capacity from 2024

The acquisition of CMAB Biopharma comes days after WuXi Biologics bought a Pfizer facility, months after it added a Bayer plant, and a decade after it entered the biomanufacturing space. Contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) is in the news again, just a week after it acquired a single-use biologics manufacturing plant in Hangzhou, China from Big Pharma firm Pfizer. This time it has entered an agreement to buy over 90% of fellow Chinese CDMO CMAB Biopharma for an undisclosed…

Catalent increases capacity in Italy for J&J’s COVID vaccine

Catalent will add a high-speed vial-filling line to increase its manufacturing capacity for J&J’s single-shot COVID-19 vaccine. The expanded partnership will see contract development manufacturing organization (CDMO) Catalent add an additional high-speed vial-filling line at its site in Anagni, Italy. The line is set to be operational by the fourth quarter of 2021 and support the making of Johnson & Johnson’s (J&J) COVID-19 vaccine throughout 2022. The CDMO said the increase in its manufacturing capacity at the 300,000 square-foot Italian…

Takeda loans J&J CDMO space to support COVID vaccine roll out

IDT Biologika will use capacity reserved for Takeda’s dengue vaccine candidate to provide fill-finish for Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 single-shot jab. Contract development manufacturing organization (CDMO) IDT Biologika had been contracted to use its Dessau site in Germany to manufacture Takeda’s dengue vaccine candidate, TAK-003. However, the facility will now be dedicated to filling and packaging J&J’s vaccine, which received US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval in February this year. J&J’s vaccine will be manufactured at the Dessau site…