Deal-Making

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…

BMS to buy MyoKardia, adding heart disease drug for $13.1bn

BMS Myers Squibb (BMS) is bolstering its cardiovascular drug lineup with a $13.1 billion deal to acquire MyoKardia, a company whose experimental therapy for a rare type of heart disease is on track for an FDA submission and is projected to become a blockbuster seller. According to financial terms announced Monday, BMS has agreed to pay $225 cash for each share of MyoKardia, a 61 percent premium to the Brisbane, Califrnia-based company’s closing stock price on Friday. Shares of MyoKardia opened at…

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…

Novavax and J&J ink COVID-19 vaccine fill/finish deals

To support their COVID-19 vaccine candidates, Novavax has secured space at Endo’s facility and Johnson & Johnson has struck a deal with Grand River Aseptic Manufacturing (GRAM). As Novavax progresses its COVID-19 vaccine candidate through the clinic, the firm has inked numerous deals with contract development and manufacturing organizations (CDMOs) to ensure it will be ready for large-scale production. The latest focuses on the fill and finish of the Phase II candidate, NVX-CoV2373, with a deal in place with Par…

Humanigen strikes third manufacturing deal for COVID-19 therapy

Humanigen has partnered with Thermo Fisher for the manufacture of its potential COVID-19 therapy lenzilumab as it enters Phase III trials. Lenzilumab is being explored as a treatment for ‘cytokine storm’, an overreaction of the immune system, which has occurred in those suffering from the disease. Humanigen agreed the deal with Thermo Fisher in anticipation of a potential approval for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) later this year. The two partners have agreed…

Pfizer to make Vivet’s Wilson disease gene therapy for Phase I/II trial

Pfizer will make a candidate gene therapy for the liver condition Wilson disease under an agreement with Vivet Therapeutics. The US pharmaceutical firm will make supplies of the candidate – known as VTX-801 – for a Phase I/II clinical trial due to start early next year. Wilson disease is characterized by the accumulation of copper in tissue. It is an inherited disorder caused by mutations in the gene encoding the ATP7B copper transporter. VTX-801 is an AAV liver tropic capsid…

From flu jabs, to mAbs, to COVID collabs: BioNTech nabs Novartis plant and labs

BioNTech is buying Novartis’ facility in Marburg, Germany to support the manufacture of its mRNA vaccine candidate against COVID-19. Financial details of the acquisition have not been divulged, but the GMP facility in Marburg (about 50 miles north of Frankfurt) will be used to increase manufacturing capacity for BNT162b2, a Phase III messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine in development with Pfizer against COVID-19. The Novartis facility houses equipment to produce recombinant proteins, and cell and gene therapies – as well as…