Deal-Making

Generate Biomedicines raises $370m to advance AI drug discovery tech

Generate Biomedicines has raised $370 million to further develop its artificial intelligence (AI) drug discovery technology, expand its team and build labs. The Cambridge, Massachusetts biotech completed a series B round last week, attracting investment from founding backer Flagship Pioneering and the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), the Alaska Permanent Fund and Altitude Life Science Ventures. Generate said the money will allow it to “advance and evolve” the platform and “scale the organization with top-tier scientific and computational talent.” It…

Ins & Outs: Filling gaps at Pfizer and the FDA

Pfizer’s chief financial officer Frank D’Amelio will retire from his position after 15 years at the firm, prompting an external search for his successor. Meanwhile, Joe Biden nominates Robert Califf for US FDA chief. Sit back, relax, and enjoy this week’s Ins &Outs. Pfizer announced D’Amelio’s planned departure from the company and stated he has agreed to stay on board in a consulting role while the firm externally search for a chief financial officer (CFO). Pfizer claim that during D’Amelio’s…

Novo Nordisk to add RNAi engine in $3.3bn Dicerna buy

The acquisition of development partner Dicerna Pharmaceuticals will accelerate Novo Nordisk’s position in the RNA interference (RNAi) space. In 2019, Novo Nordisk paid $175 million upfront to collaborate with Dicerna in the discovery and development of RNAi therapies for liver-related cardiometabolic diseases using Dicerna’s proprietary GalXC RNAi platform technology. Two years on, and the Danish drugmaker has entered an agreement to buy the partner outright, offering $38.25 per share and valuing the firm at around $3.3 billion. “The acquisition of…

Inceptor snaps up Arranta plant in Florida

Inceptor Bio has acquired a clinical manufacturing plant in Gainesville from Arranta Bio to support trials of its cell therapy pipeline. The 29,000 square-foot facility will be used as a base for Inceptor’s Advanced Manufacturing Platform (AMP), a scalable shared production infrastructure used to produce a pipeline of cell therapy candidates for the firm and its subsidiaries. “We are thrilled to welcome the experienced, talented operating team from Arranta and look forward to establishing cell therapy GMP clinical manufacturing as…

CGT Catapult partners to overcome barriers in ATMP industry

CGT Catapult has partnered with Deep Science Ventures to tackle issues and create companies that address needs in the advanced therapy sector. Together, the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult (CGT Catapult) and London , UK-based venture creator Deep Science Ventures (DSV) aim to drive innovation and employment opportunities in the advanced therapy industry by addressing challenges in the sector and creating companies to support better patient outcomes. “The CGT Catapult will leverage its world-class technical and regulatory expertise in ATMPs alongside…

Ins and outs: AGC to address CGT needs through CBO hire

BioProcess Insider sat down figuratively with Jean-Baptiste Agnus, AGC Biologics’ chief business officer set to drive the contract development manufacturing organization (CDMOs) cell and gene therapy (CGT) business. Agnus joins AGC Biologics as chief business officer after three years with Ajinomoto Bio-Pharma Services where he was responsible for leading the firm’s global sales and marketing activities. Prior to this, he spent 13 years at Novasep, where he most recently held position of head of sales and business development North America.…

Masco Group bolsters engineering tech with KeyPlants buy

Masco Group strengthens its engineering technologies for the life sciences sector by acquiring a majority stake in KeyPlants AB. The deal, of which no financial details have been disclosed, sees technological solutions provider Masco Group acquire Swedish firm Keyplants, which focuses on modular off-site construction for the life science industry. “This partnership will strengthen Masco Group by combining its leadership in clean utilities and process technologies with KeyPlants’ expertise and innovative energy in prefabricated, modular facility solutions,” a spokesperson for…

CJ Cheiljedang diversifies biz with $226m Batavia buy

CJ Cheiljedang has entered the biopharma CDMO space through the acquisition of Batavia Biosciences. The deal, which is worth $226 million, sees CJ Cheiljedang, a subsidiary of South Korea’s food and entertainment corporation CJ Group, acquire Netherlands-based contract development manufacturing organization (CDMO) Batavia Biosciences to drive its position in the biotechnology field. Batavia is a CDMO which specializes predominantly in viral vaccines and viral vector products. It also has capabilities for monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) and recombinant protein development. “We identified…

MilliporeSigma to support SaudiVax in developing first halal vaccine

SaudiVax has selected Merck KGaA to help design a Saudi-based facility to localize manufacturing of vaccines and biologics in the region. SaudiVax is expected to become the first developer and manufacturer of halal biotherapeutics and vaccines in Saudi Arabia and has turned to German Merck’s contract development manufacturing (CDMO) services and single-use technologies – MilliporeSigma – to help design a multi-modality manufacturing plant. The plant will be located at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) campus, north…

Ins and outs: Avid create viral vector position to lead CGT expansion

CDMO Avid Bioservices has appointed Elie Hanania as vice president, process development, viral vector technologies to lead the company’s efforts in the CGT space. Sit back, relax, and enjoy this week’s Ins and outs. Biologics contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) Avid Bioservices turned to the production of viral vectors in October with plans to build a 53,000 square foot viral vector development and GMP manufacturing facility in Costa Mesa, California at a cost of around $75 million. Now, with…