Global Markets

Biocon: COVID dampens $1bn biosimilar sales target

COVID-19 has caused regulatory inspection delays, operational slowdowns and lower consumption, diminishing Biocon’s aspiration of reaching $1 billion in annual biosimilar revenues. On paper, Biocon’s third quarter FY21 was positive. Sales grew 7% year-on-year to INR 1,879 crore ($258 million), with an 11% growth in biosimilars contributing INR 769 crore to the total. Quarter-over-quarter, biosimilar sales grew 14%, and Biocon’s presence in marketed biosimilars further grew with a number of approvals across various jurisdictions, including EMA recommendation for its insulin…

Podcast: Systemic racism in the biomanufacturing space

Black and minority workers are consistently overlooked in the biomanufacturing industry due to unconscious – or perhaps conscious – racism, LucasPye Bio CEO Tia Lyles-Williams explains in The BioProcess Insider Expression System podcast. In the first episode of this new podcast series, Tia-Lyles Williams, CEO of LucasPye Bio, talks about diversity in the biopharma workplace and the hurdles that continue to hold back black and minority workers. Tia now leads a Philadelphia-based CDMO that recently raised $50 million in funding…

AstraZeneca: ‘Manufacturing should take lion’s share of credit for vaccine success’

AstraZeneca says it has established more than 20 different supply nodes in parallel supply chains to roll out three billion doses of its COVID-19 vaccine this year. Late last month, the UK became the first jurisdiction to approve the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine (AZD1222) in its efforts against COVID-19. Mexico, Brazil and India are among the countries that have since followed suit, while an approval decision from the European Medicines Agency is expected by January 29. The vaccine, which uses the modified…

Moderna has the capacity but cannot guarantee the supply of COVID-19 vaccine

Moderna says it has the capacity to deliver one billion doses of COVID-19 vaccine, mRNA-1273 but is concerned with raw material supply. Moderna has an approved vaccine for COVID-19 in the US, Europe and UK. Speaking at the 39th Annual JP Morgan virtual Healthcare Conference, CEO Stéphane Bancel highlighted how potential shortages of material could delay manufacture despite Moderna “structuring the company to deliver a billion doses” in a year. “I think sometimes people confuse capacity and supply” said Bancel,…

Pall investing $114m, adding 1,100 jobs, on back of COVID single-use demand

Pall Corporation will invest $114 million to increase global production capacity for single-use bioprocessing systems in response to COVID-19 related demand. The firm will add capacity at its facilities in Medemblik in the Netherlands, Hoegaarden in Belgium, Bad Kreuznach in Germany, Ilfracombe and Newquay in the UK, Fajardo in Puerto Rico, and Pensacola in the US. Pall cited “industry demands driven by COVID-19” as the driver for the investment adding that it expects to create 1,100 jobs globally now through…

Sanofi: ‘Vaccine heritage puts us in good stead to play in gene therapy space’

Sanofi says it is looking to resolve the “patchy” accomplishments in the gene therapy space through a new specialized unit that will leverage technologies from its vaccine division. Sanofi has dabbled in the cell and gene therapy over the past decade but is yet to make its mark. Speaking at the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference this week, CEO Paul Hudson highlighted the importance of the sector going forward but admitted industry’s success in the sector has “been patchy.” He told…

Thermo Fisher reports $6bn+ COVID windfall in 2020

Thermo Fisher says it supported over 250 coronavirus-related programs in 2020, generating “well over $6 billion” in COVID-19 response revenue. Speaking at the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference, held virtually for the first time in its nearly 40 year history, Thermo Fisher Scientific CEO Marc Casper described 2020 as the “best year yet” for his firm, representing an “extraordinary performance in the most challenging of times.” The multinational offers a broad spectrum of biopharma services, all of which saw a surge…

UK advanced therapy sector employment in line to double by 2024

The UK aims to grow its cell and gene therapy workforce with both a training network and by recruiting from outside the sector. According to Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult (CGTC)’s research, 83% of companies operating in the advanced therapy sector stated that a lack of skilled employees will be one of the main issues that slows down or causes a delay to their forecasted expansions. CGTC projects that the workforce in the industry will need to double from approximately…

COVID-19 has spurred long-lasting innovation, says expert

Biopharma must learn from COVID-19 and make sure it has capacity to respond to future pandemics, according to biobanking firm GoodCell. SARS-CoV-2 has killed more than 1.6 million people worldwide and sickened millions more in the 12 months since it was first detected. The virus has disrupted almost every industry and prompted Governments to introduce strict measures to try and slow its spread. But the virus has also been a catalyst for innovation. From the use of internet conference technologies…

Some cold chain issues with Pfizer’s COVID vaccine but US confident of supplies

US military officials say several trays of Pfizer and BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine needed to be replaced after being stored at excessively cold temperatures. Details of the replacement were disclosed yesterday during a press conference about efforts to roll out the vaccine. General Gustave F. Perna, who is running the US’ Operation Warp Speed (OWS), said some vaccine sent to California and Alabama was replaced after it was stored at a temperature lower than the recommended 70°C. “We had two trays…