Deal-Making

Mesa Labs picks up Gyros in $180m bio QC deal

Swedish immunoassay and peptide synthesis firm Gyros Protein Technologies has been acquired by Mesa Laboratories in a deal worth $180 million (€163 million). Colorado-based quality control instruments and consumables firm Mesa Laboratories says it is increasing its presence in the discovery, development and manufacturing of biotherapeutics through the acquisition, adding Gyros’ immunoassay platform. “We completed a business combination (the “GPT Acquisition”) whereby we acquired the common stock of Gyros Protein Technologies Holding AB (“GPT”), a company whose business provides Immunoassay…

Aspen alert! Novartis buys assets for $330m in Japan boost

Novartis division Sandoz has acquired the Japanese business of Aspen Global Incorporated (AGI), bolstering its biosimilar and generics presence in the region. South African pharma firm Aspen Holdings opened the Japanese subsidiary Aspen Japan K.K. in May 2015, with an aim bring its oncology, immunosuppressant, anti-inflammatory, hypertension, and anticoagulant products to the market. Today, Sandoz, the generics and biosimilar division of Swiss Biopharma firm Novartis, has announced it will pay an initial €300 million ($330 million) to buy shares in…

Cognate buys Cobra to boost gene therapy CDMO capabilities

Cell therapy CDMO Cognate Bioservices will add plasmid DNA and viral vector capabilities through the acquisition of Swedish manufacturer Cobra Biologics. Memphis, Tennessee-based contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) Cognate has entered into an agreement to acquire Cobra for an undisclosed fee, led by existing Cognate investor EW Healthcare Partners. The deal adds to Cognate’s presence in the regenerative medicine space by bringing on board plasmid DNA and viral vector manufacturing capacity and expertise, complementing its own autologous and allogeneic…

LBPs for gene therapies: Thermo Fisher inks deal with another Bamforth biz

Thermo Fisher has invested in Mark Barmforth’s latest venture Arranta Bio and will access live biopharmaceutical products (LBPs) for use in gene therapy production. Thermo Fisher has a profound relationship with biopharma pioneer and Ampersand Capital Operating Partner Mark Bamforth. Bamforth’s contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) Gallus BioPharmaceuticals was acquired by the Patheon in 2014, and in 2017 Patheon was picked up by Thermo Fisher for $7.2 billion (€6.5 billion). Then earlier this year, Thermo Fisher expanded its CDMO…

Amgen takes $2.7bn stake in BeiGene to up presence in China

Amgen will look to commercialize several of its biologics and advance 20 oncology candidates in China as it acquires roughly 20% of local drugmaker BeiGene. During Amgen’s third quarter 2019 financial call this week, CEO Bob Bradway noted his firm’s excitement of having recently launched its first product in China – cardiovascular disease monoclonal antibody Repatha (evolocumab). “We expect this to become an important market for us through time,” he told investors. Days later, and the biopharma firm has struck…

Avacta teams with ADC Therapeutics on Affimer conjugates

Avacta Group and cancer drug developer ADC Therapeutics SA have entered into a collaboration agreement. The partnership – financial terms of which were not made public – will develop drugs combining ADC Therapeutics’ pyrrolobenzodiazepine-based cytotoxic warheads with Avacta’s Affimer targeting platform. ADC Therapeutics will cover all Avacta’s costs during the project. The firm also has the right to obtain exclusive licenses to the Affimer proteins for clinical development and commercialization. Matt Vincent, Avacta’s VP of Therapeutics Business Development, told us:…

Cesca and HealthBanks jump on the CAR-TXpress in cell banking JV

Cesca Therapeutics and HealthBanks Biotech say their cell processing tech and banking JV will target CDMOs and immunology researchers. Under the agreement Cesca’s subsidiary ThermoGenesis will grant the newly formed joint venture – to be called ImmuneCyte Life Sciences – an exclusive license to its CAR-TXpress technology. The system is used to isolate blood components in a cGMP compliant manner. According to Cesca it is 16 times more efficient than ficoll gradient centrifugation-based cell processing methods. In addition to offering…

Chinese CMC: CMAB to make bi-functional antibody for BJ

BJ Bioscience has contracted CMAB Biopharma to provide research, development and manufacturing services for a candidate therapeutic antibody called BJ-005. Under the deal, CMAB will conduct CMC development and manufacturing to support the planned submission of an IND for the candidate drug in China and the US. No further details about BJ-005 were provided. According to BJ Biosciences’ website the drug is a bi-functional antibody intended for the treatment of “cancer.” On the firm’s pipeline page the timing for IND…

Danaher offloads assets to Sartorius for $750m; GE buy pushed back to 2020

Sartorius will add biomolecular characterization, chromatography hardware and resins, and microcarriers in the deal, dependent on the closure of Danaher’s acquisition of GE Healthcare’s Biopharma business. Earlier this year, Danaher Corporation announced its intention to increase its presence in the bioprocessing space through the full biopharma portion of GE Healthcare’s Life Sciences business for approximately $21.4 billion (€19.2 billion). The GE business unit will, once the deal closes, become the latest subsidiary of Danaher, which boasts Pall Corporation, Sciex, and…

Combigene teams with Cobra and NBR on epilepsy gene therapy

Cobra Biologics will produce the AAV viral vector for Combigene’s epilepsy gene therapy from its facilities in Keele, UK. Nordic gene therapy company Combigene’s CG01 candidate is based on an adeno-associated viral vector (AAV) which administers a combination of neuropeptide Y (NPY) and its receptor Y2 directly to the part of the brain where epileptic seizures begin. The project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program and the manufacturing process was developed at the…