Facilities & Capacity

Akron buys Cambryn plant on back of high CGT demand

The addition of a biomanufacturing plant in Florida will support the high demand for Akron Biotech’s cytokine and media products from the blossoming cell and gene therapy sector. Akron Biotech has expanded its operations by acquiring a biologics facility in Sarasota, Florida second manufacturing plant. The firm makes cGMP-compliant cytokines that are embedded in numerous clinical and commercial cell therapies and the addition of a second facility is needed to expand capacity to meet the tremendous demand, according to Akron…

J&J to expand vaccine capacity as part of $1bn BARDA coronavirus collaboration

Johnson & Johnson (J&J) says it will leverage and expand facilities in The Netherlands and Pennsylvania in efforts to reach one billion doses of a potential COVID-19 vaccine. In February, J&J teamed up with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to develop a vaccine against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). At the time the company said it would work to upscale production and manufacturing capacities, leveraging its AdVac and PER.C6…

Translate Bio, Sanofi secure CDMO capacity for potential COVID-19 mRNA vaccine

Sanofi has become the latest firm to leverage mRNA vaccine technology to tackle COVID-19. Its partner Translate Bio, meanwhile, has secured dedicated manufacturing capacity at AMRI to respond to the potential global demand. France’s Sanofi Pasteur announced it is extending an alliance formed in 2018 with Translate Bio specifically to target the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Translate is already producing multiple mRNA constructs through its MRT platform, and now the platform will be used to discover, design and manufacture a number…

Vaccine production plant forms part of Canada’s COVID-19 response

The University of Saskatchewan’s (USask) has received funding from the Canadian government to construct a pilot manufacturing plant to support trials of a COVID-19 vaccine candidate. Like many governments, Canada’s is ploughing funds into tackling the coronavirus pandemic currently sweeping the globe. A CAD 275 million ($195 million) fund for COVID-19 health research has been announced, and includes several investment in USask’s Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization-International Vaccine Centre (VIDO-InterVac), which it says is one of the largest and most…

Thermo Fisher to enter cell therapy CDMO space with NJ facility

Thermo Fisher says it is planning to open a cell therapy development and manufacturing collaboration center in Princeton as part of a $475 million investment in its biopharma capabilities. Thermo Fisher has grown its contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) business firstly through its $7.2 billion acquisition of Patheon in 2017, and secondly through last year’s $1.7 billion Brammer Bio buy. The latter propelled Thermo Fisher into advanced therapy production with viral vector capacity it has since expanded upon (see…

Rapid response vaccine capacity vital for pandemics, BIO-Europe

Experts fighting COVID-19 say governments and industry must invest in vaccine plants that can be brought online during future pandemics. The call came during the online conference BIO-Europe Spring plenary session. Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel – whose RNA vaccine entered Phase I trials weeks after the SAR-COv2 sequence was published – told delegates rapid scale-up is vital during a pandemic. “The piece we are missing is infrastructure – Moderna is using a development plant to make vaccine for trials and…

Jefferson Institute selects Gyros tech for bioprocess training

Philadelphia’s Jefferson Institute for Bioprocessing (JIB) will incorporate buffers and titer kits supplied by Gyros Protein Technologies in its training programs. JIB opened its doors in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania last June with support from Ireland’s National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training (NIBRT). The center has now inked a contract with immunoassay and peptide synthesis firm Gyros Protein Technologies – now part of Mesa Laboratories – to use its immunoassay system and ready-to-use kits as part of its bioprocessing training programs.…

COVID-19: Chinese biomanufacturer CMAB returns to full operations

As doors close in Europe and the US, there is some hope in China with CMAB Biopharma returning to full operations following the COVID-19 pandemic. As the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to close down normal life in Europe, there are signs that normality is beginning to return in China, the country where the outbreak was first reported. According to data from Johns Hopkins University, daily increases in coronavirus cases in China have dropped to fewer than a hundred compared to…

Univercells buys plant, launches CDMO to service booming cell & gene sector

Belgium-based bioprocess tech firm Univercells has launched Exothera, a process development and viral vector manufacturer set to serve the robust cell and gene therapy sector. Fresh from a €50 million ($54 million) investment from global investment firm KKR, Univercells launched cell and gene therapy contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) Exothera today. While the KKR investment supports Univercells’ manufacturing technologies and plays a role in developing and commercializing its biprocessing equipment, it did not directly drive the creation of the…

One billion doses: CureVac gains $88m to support capacity for COVID-19 mRNA vaccine

CureVac – the German biotech at the center of a Donald Trump acquisition rumor – has received a grant from the European Commission to expedite construction of a plant set to make a potential mRNA vaccine against coronavirus. The European Commission (EC) offered up to €80 million ($88 million) of financial support to German firm CureVac this week in its efforts to support the development and manufacture of a potential vaccine to treat the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). At the time…