Deal-Making

WuXi AppTec absorbs Oxgene to expand cell and gene services

WuXi AppTec acquires its first facility in Europe as part of deal that adds manufacturing systems and contract researching tools. As part of the acquisition, Oxgene will become a subsidiary of WuXi Advanced Therapies (WuXi ATU), which is WuXi AppTec’s cell and gene therapy contract testing, development and manufacturing organization. Oxgene, which will retain its name, is a contract research and development organization based in Oxford, UK, that provides cell and gene therapy discovery and biomanufacturing platforms. The company offers…

Rivals unite: J&J inks vaccine deal with Merck

Merck & Co. has partnered with J&J to help manufacture its single-shot COVID-19 vaccine which recently received approval from the FDA. After discontinuing its own COVID vaccine development at the start of this year, Merck & Co. (known as MSD outside of North America) has formed a partnership with Johnson & Johnson (J&J) to use its facilities to manufacture the vaccine and provide a fill-finish service. “Two of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world who are usually competitors are…

Pharmaron to buy Allergan Biologics biz from AbbVie for $119m

The addition of a plant in Liverpool, UK, from AbbVie will support ambitions in the biologics and cell and gene therapy space, says service firm Pharmaron. Chinese pharma services firm Pharmaron Beijing Co is set to pay $118.7 million in cash to AbbVie for its Allergan Biologics Limited (ABL) business, located in Liverpool, UK. AbbVie acquired ABL as part of its $63 billion acquisition of Allergan in 2019. The proposed sale – expected to go through in the second quarter…

Catalent dismisses production problems in J&J COVID vaccine rollout

CDMO Catalent has refuted claims that US rollout of the recently approved J&J vaccine has been slowed down by problems at its fill-finish facilities. Shortly after the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Johnson & Johnson’s single-shot  vaccine making it the third authorized COVID vaccine  in the US, the Financial Times reported that Catalent is suffering production problems that “have contributed to the US government being set to receive millions fewer doses than it expected this month.” The British…

MilliporeSigma to manufacture biologics for Alteogen

South Korean firm Alteogen has partnered with CDMO MilliporeSigma to develop and produce biotherapeutics and monoclonal antibody drugs. The collaboration will see MilliporeSigma (the life sciences business of Germany’s Merck KGaA) provide Alteogen with late-stage manufacturing services which includes developing and producing recombinant biologics for clinical evaluation. “This agreement supports large-volume subcutaneous administration of biologics that would otherwise be administered as an IV infusion,” said head of Process Solutions at Merck, Andrew Bulpin. “This advances Merck’s strategy of providing breakthrough,…

J&J’s single-shot COVID-19 vaccine approved by FDA

The FDA has approved J&J’s single dose COVID-19 vaccine (Ad26.COV2.S) paving the way for distribution in the US. Last week, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued Johnson & Johnson’s (J&J) adenovirus type 26 COVID-19 vaccine with Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) making it the third vaccine available to US citizens. “After a thorough analysis of the data, the FDA’s scientists and physicians have determined that the vaccine meets the FDA’s expectations for safety and effectiveness appropriate for the authorization…

Ins and outs: Changes at Moderna, ReForm Biologics, Daiichi Sankyo

Moderna has appointed executive search firm Russell Reynolds to find Tal Zaks replacement as he steps down from his position as CMO. Meanwhile, there are high level changes at ReForm Biologics and Daiichi Sankyo. Zaks has been chief medical officer (CMO) of Moderna for six years. Now with its first approved mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, Zaks will step down from his position in late September though it is unknown where he will embark on the next leg of his career. Moderna’s…

Merck buying Pandion Therapeutics in $1.85bn deal

Merck & Co. will add a pipeline of precision immune modulators and a drug design and discovery platform through the proposed acquisition of Pandion. The deal, announced today, will see Merck & Co. pay $60 per share in cash for the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based firm, totalling roughly $1.85 billion. Pandion is developing therapies for the tissue-specific treatment of patients with autoimmune and inflammatory diseases and organ transplants. Its lead candidate, bispecific antibody PT101, is in early-phase clinical trial for ulcerative colitis…

Catalent commits to pDNA, buying Delphi and expanding a Maryland plant

Having its own plasmid DNA capabilities will launch Catalent into areas like mRNA and non-viral gene delivery, the CDMO says. Catalent has entered into an agreement to buy fellow contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) Delphi Genetics, adding – if the deal goes through – a plasmid DNA (pDNA) platform and supporting production services from preclinical to Phase III. The deal, financial details of which have not been divulged, will also bring Catalent a 17,000 square-foot facility in Gosselies, Belgium,…

CDMO to build $490m MAb plant as GSK exits UK site

Lakes BioScience has received permission to begin building a £350 million biomanufacturing facility at a site in Ulverston, UK, currently owned by GSK. Last week, South Lakeland District Council granted permission for Lakes Bioscience, a recently formed biomanufacturing firm, to build a new facility on GlaxoSmithKline’s (GSK) site located on North Lonsdale Road, Ulverston, Cumbria. Lakes BioScience director, Pat McIver told BioProcess Insider it is investing £350 million ($490 million) to build a new site which will produce monoclonal antibodies…