Global Markets

MilliporeSigma partners Innocore for sustained release tech

MilliporeSigma will offer customers access to a sustained release formulation platform for large molecule APIs through a partnership with Innocore. The bioprocessing equipment and tools subsidiary of Germany’s Merck KGaA, MilliporeSigma, has inked an agreement to be the partner for the introduction of Innocure’s SynBiosys biodegradable platform to the global biopharma market. The platform can be used to develop sustained release solutions for biologicals in injectable formulations, something MilliporeSigma said is becoming increasingly important and competitively tempting for biopharmaceutical developers.…

Esco Aster to transfer CAR-T tech to Chinese biomanufacturing plant

The Singapore-based CDMO will fit out Wuhan Bio-Raid Biotechnology’s facility in China with its lentiviral vector platform and bioproduction technologies. Esco Aster has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to use its lentiviral vector platform and bioproduction technologies to support Wuhan Bio-Raid’s chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy pipeline in China. “Under the MoU, both parties have achieved a broad understanding to increase the speed of CAR-T development in China,” Esco Aster spokesperson Ai San Yip told BioProcess Insider. This…

Amgen Breaks Ground on $160m Rhode Island Plant

Amgen has broken ground on a single-use and modular biomanufacturing facility at a site in Rhode Island. The groundbreaking ceremony at the West Greenwich site took place today in the presence of the governor of Rhode Island, Gina Raimondo and congressman Jim Langevin. Construction of the plant will begin in September. The facility, first announced in April, will make biologics for the US and global market once operational. It has been described as a “next-generation biomanufacturing plant,” meaning it is…

Q2 Results: Bioprocessing Vendors Return to Double-Digit Growth

Thermo Fisher and Sartorius are among bioprocessing vendors reporting a return to double-digit year-on-year growth, following ‘lumpy’ results in the same quarter 2017. For the second quarter 2018, Thermo Fisher reported revenues from its Life Sciences Solution segment of US$1.6 billion (€1.4 billion), up 12% on the same period last year. Fellow vendor Sartorius reported Q2 sales in its Bioprocessing Solutions unit up 14% in constant currency over last year, pulling in €287 million ($336 million), while order uptake was…

Bioproduction: A ‘Tale of Two Facilities,’ Says Jacobs

The advent of single-use bioreactors has revolutionized facility design says Jacobs, which has worked in the biomanufacturing sector for almost 30 years. As the biotech industry matured in the 1990s, Jacobs Engineering acquired Triad Technologies and Sigel Group to expand its expertise in designing and constructing biotechnology facilities. The firm has since been involved in many of the most prominent biomanufacturing facilities over the past few decades, working on Schering-Plough’s (now Merck & Co.) facility in Tuas, Singapore; Bristol-Myers Squibb’s…

Neupogen Biosimilar Success: Pfizer Banks on Discounts and Patient Confidence

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Pfizer’s Nivestym; a second biosimilar of Amgen’s Neupogen (filgrastim). In March 2015, the FDA approved its first biosimilar: a version of Neupogen called Zarxio, marketed by Novartis subsidiary Sandoz. Three years later and a second filgrastim biosimilar is close to being available after the FDA approved Pfizer’s product NIvestym. A spokesperson from the Biopharma firm told BioProcess Insider Pfizer will be able to compete against both Amgen’s reference biologic and Sandoz’s…

Univercells $19m Booster Shot to Help Disrupt Vaccine Industry

Traditional vaccine makers have limited incentive to invest in new technologies and processes says Univercells, which hopes to advance its own viral vaccines produced in micro-facilities. Univercells has raised €16 million (US$18.7 million) of funding in a Series B financing round led by Global Health Investment Fund. Some of the capital will be used to increase the impact of its proprietary viral platform through the expansion of its portfolio. “Following the platform proof of concept, with its sIPV development program…

Newly Public Rubius Investing $155m to Renovate Rhode Island Plant

Rubius Therapeutics will use some of the US$241 million (€207 million) raised in its initial public offering (IPO) to buy and refurbish a manufacturing facility. The biotech firm begins trading on Nasdaq Global Select Market today (July 18) after raising $241 million from the public offering of 10,483,000 shares of common stock. According to the firm’s Form S-1, filed with the SEC, some of the proceeds will be used to “purchase, renovate and customize the manufacturing facility for which we…

Shanghai Filling Line is Latest Investment in China for B-I

Boehringer-Ingelheim will offer both drug substance and drug product services form its facility in Shanghai, China after adding fill & finish capabilities. German drugmaker Boehringer Ingelheim has added a new filling line at its commercial biomanufacturing facility in Shanghai, bolstering its third-party business, BioXcellence. “At our China facility the F&F [fill & finish] service complements the manufacturing service for drug substance at that site, meaning we can now offer drug substance and drug product out of one facility for our…

Still Space for Multiple Neulasta Biosimilars, says Pfenex

Pfenex has deprioritized its pegfilgrastim biosimilar program but is reevaluating the market after Mylan’s recent success in the US. In June, the US Food and Drug Administration approved Mylan’s Fulphilia on its second attempt. While Fulphilia has become the first biosimilar of Amgen’s cancer drug Neulasta (pegfilgrastim), there are several other firms looking to tap the market, including Coherus and Novartis subsidiary Sandoz. Clinical-stage development and licensing biotech Pfenex too has a pegfilgrastim biosimilar in its pipeline, PF529, but announced…