Global Markets

Sanofi prepped for production after EU Nanobody success

Ten weeks after acquiring Ablynx, Sanofi has received European approval for lead Nanobody-based drug Cablivi (caplacizumab). In June this year, Sanofi acquired Belgian biotech Ablynx for €3.9 billion ($3.5 billion), adding the firm’s pipeline of biotherapeutics based on the small-sized antibody, or Nanobody, technology. Now the French biopharma firm is set to commercialize lead product caplacizumab (anti-vWF Nanobody) in Europe under the brand name Cablivi after the European Commission granted it marketing authorization for the treatment of rare blood-clotting disorder…

Vendors ‘awakening’ to the needs of cell and gene therapy makers

Equipment suppliers are vying to fill gaps in processing say cell and gene therapy experts, but understanding what end-users need will be central for success. In 2017, the US FDA approved two chimeric antigen receptor T (CAR-T) cell therapies. Since then there have been several other cell and gene therapies approved across several markets, including Europe’s first allogeneic stem cell in the form of Takeda’s Alofisel (darvadstrocel). And with several hundred cell and gene candidates moving through the clinical stages…

False biosimilar communications: Originators rebuff Pfizer’s claims

Pfizer has accused Amgen, J&J and Roche of sending misleading communications about biosimilars in a Citizen Petition asking the US FDA to issue guidance on such behavior. In a Citizen Petition published on August 22, Pfizer said communication tools intended to incentivize the adoption of and switching of biosimilars have led to a robust uptake of biosimilars in Europe, but in the US “payer reimbursement policies are in fact impeding adoption of biosimilars.” The firm continued: “Dissemination of false or misleading…

KBI boosts analytical services with Belgium expansion

The laboratories in Belgium will help international biopharma firms consolidate their outsourced analytical work to meet EU regulations, says KBI Biopharma. Contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) KBI Biopharma has opened laboratories in Leven, Belgium offering analytical development, formulation development, biopharmaceutical characterization and cGMP quality control testing. According to CEO Tim Kelly, the lab expansion was first announced in 2015, when the CDMO was acquired by JSR Corporation. “JSR’s decision to expand its A3 production capacity in Leuven created an…

Sartorius opening life sciences launchpad to grow German talent and innovation

Bioprocessing vendor Sartorius has launched a Life Science Factory in Göttingen, Germany offering labs, co-working spaces and consulting services for life science entrepreneurs. Life Science Factory, an independent non-profit division of Sartorius, aims to set-up a launch pad for life science startups in Germany. According to spokesperson Timo Lindemann, the project will begin next year with more than 500m2 for co-working, experiments and events, available for rent by entrepreneurs, before being transferred to a new 3,000m2 nearby facility in 2021.…

Gilead says CA plant will supply Yescarta to EU until 2020

Kite’s manufacturing plant in El Segundo, California, will supply Europe with the newly approved CAR-T therapy Yescarta while a facility in The Netherlands is being prepared. Gilead Sciences has received marketing authorization from the European Commission (EC) for its chimeric antigen receptor T (CAR-T) cell therapy Yescarta (axicabtagene ciloleucel). The therapy is approved to treat patients with relapsed or refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) and primary mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma (PMBCL). “Across the European Union, it is estimated that…

Novartis constructing $92m CAR-T plant as Kymriah arrives in EU

Up to 450 jobs will be created as Novartis commits to a production site for cell and gene therapies in Switzerland. The investment will support CAR-T drug Kymriah, which received European approval this week. A year after the US Food and Drug Admistration (FDA) approved Kymriah (tisagenlecleucel), the European Commission (EC) has granted the Novartis’ therapy approval to treat B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). In the US, the chimeric antigen receptor T cell (CAR-T) product is manufactured at Novartis’ Morris…

Bioreactors from Ireland to China: ABEC gains second license

ABEC has received approval to supply bioprocessing equipment to China from its facility in Kells, Ireland. Bioreactor and bioproduction equipment vendor ABEC has been supplying the Chinese market for the best part of a decade, after its Springfield, Missouri facility obtained a China Manufacture License (CML) in 2010. Now the firm can supply its tech from a second facility, the Kells plant in County Meath, Ireland, after the government granted the plant a China Manufacture License (CML) to manufacture pressure…

US made biosimilars: Competitive advantage or marketing spin?

Coherus says American healthcare providers and payers favor biosimilars made in the US over those made overseas. But an industry analyst has dismissed this saying location should not matter provided the facility is approved. Coherus’ second quarter 2018 contained several regulatory milestones relating to its candidate Udencya (pegfilgrastim-cbqv), a biosimilar candidate to Amgen’s Neulasta. A resubmission to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was accepted in May, while in July Europe’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CMPH)…

Bavarian Nordic: €30m loan to support smallpox vaccine fill/finish plant

The loan will support construction of a facility aimed at bringing the full production of Imvamune in-house. The news comes a year after Bavarian Nordic won a US$539 (€472) million contract to supply the freeze-dried smallpox vaccine to the US government. Danish biotech Bavarian Nordic secured the loan from the European Investment Bank. During its second quarter results, CEO Paul Chaplin said the loan both secures the firm’s cash position and supports investments in its manufacturing network. This includes production…