Global Markets

AbbVie slashes 178 Stemcentrx jobs in California

AbbVie will reduce the workforce at a facility run by its acquisition Stemcentrx months after halting enrollment a Phase III trial for lead candidate Rova-T. In 2016, AbbVie acquired Stemcentrx for approximately $5.8 billion (€5.2 billion), bolstering its oncology pipeline with the addition of late-stage asset rovalpituzumab tesirine (Rova-T) in trials for small cell lung cancer (SCLC). But this month, AbbVie announced plans to cut jobs at Stemcentrx site in South San Francisco through a Californian Worker Adjustment and Retraining…

Thermo Fisher going viral in $1.7bn Brammer Bio buy

Thermo Fisher has broadened its CDMO interest by agreeing to acquire viral vector firm Brammer Bio. The deal brings Brammer access to a broad portfolio of gene therapy technologies and consumables. This morning bioprocess giant Thermo Fisher made good on the recent rumors of a major acquisition by agreeing to buy contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) Brammer Bio for $1.7 billion (€1.5 billion) in cash from Ampersand Capital Partners. Formed through the merger of Brammer Biopharmaceuticals and Florida Biologix…

Breaking the Big 4: How Takeda is taking on vaccines

While vaccines will continue to be dominated by GSK, Merck, Pfizer, and Sanofi, manufacturing and collaborations can help to unblock this consolidated industry says recent entrant Takeda. Rahul Singhyi, COO of Takeda vaccines, told delegates at the BPI West event in Santa Clara, California that vaccines used to be viewed as “the backwaters of the pharma industry, largely considered part of corporate social responsibility,” but that has changed over the past 20 years due to innovations and approvals in disease…

German Merck eyes membrane plant within €2bn investment

Merck KGaA has pledged to double the investment in its Darmstadt, Germany site to support numerous manufacturing, R&D and infrastructure projects. In 2015, Merck announced plans to invest €1 billion ($1.1 billion) over five-years at Darmstadt, the location of its global headquarters and a major biomanufacturing hub for the Big Pharma firm. Four years later and the firm says it is doubling down on its investment, spending a further €1 billion until 2025 to support various projects at Darmstadt and…

Genentech on tech transfer: ‘Small volumes are all a bit new to us’

Genentech says it is looking to disruptive technologies for a fast and agile response to capacity demands as its portfolio evolves away from large volume biologics. At BPI West in Santa Clara last week, Eric Fallon, senior director of Pharma Technical Innovation of Technology & MSAT at Genentech, spoke about the difficulties in driving performance and carrying out tech transfers within its large global manufacturing network. “Our manufacturing infrastructure is built around large, economies of scale, facilities. They can be…

Access to smart money a key life science growth driver, Dynamk

Bioprocess executives moving to the financial sector shows a strong desire for continued investment in the life sciences space, says Daniella Kranjac from VC firm Dynamk. Reinhard Vogt joined venture capital (VC) firm Dynamk Capital as a new general partner and managing director earlier this year, following an illustrious career in bioprocessing. Bioprocess Insider recently spoke with Vogt about major investment opportunities, but in this follow-up Q&A, Daniella Kranjac, co-founder and managing partner at Dynamk, explains how his expertise strengthens…

We are in the ‘golden age for the CDMO space,’ says Thermo Fisher

With over 75% of new molecules coming from small and emerging biotech, opportunities for third-party manufacturers have never been so large says Thermo Fisher CEO Marc Casper. Thermo Fisher jumped into the third-party biomanufacturing space in August 2017 through its acquisition of contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) Patheon for around $7.2 billion (€6.4 billion). The firm has also had capabilities in the CDMO since the early 2000s through its clinical trials’ service offerings. Speaking at the 2019 Barclays Global Healthcare Conference,…

Pfizer’s trastuzumab becomes US biosimilar number 18

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Trazimera, Pfizer’s version of Roche cancer drug Herceptin (trastuzumab). Trazimera has been approved as a biosimilar version of Herceptin to treat human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 (HER2) overexpressing breast cancer and HER2 overexpressing metastatic gastric or gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma. It is the fourth version of the Roche bestselling monoclonal antibody (MAb) to receive the regulatory thumbs up in the US. Mylan’s Ogiviri received approval in December 2017 and in the past…

Celltrion injects $51m to get under the skin of infliximab competitors

Celltrion Pharm has pledged KRW 58.2 billion won ($51 million) to establish a production site for Remsima SC, a subcutaneous version of its Remicade biosimilar. Korean drugmaker Celltrion has achieved regulatory success for its biosimilar of J&J’s Remicade (infliximab) across several key markets and is now looking to receive approval and launch a subcutaneous version of the immunosuppressive monoclonal antibody. To prepare for launch, the firm has committed KRW 58.2 billion won ($51 million) to its site in Cheongju, South…

Fresenius awaiting success before investing further in biosimilars

Having acquired a portfolio of biosimilar candidates in 2017, Fresenius Kabi says it needs “to earn the right to spend” further in the space through commercial sales. Fresenius Kabi entered the biosimilar space in 2017 through the €656 million ($645 million) acquisition of Merck KGaA’s pipeline and Swiss-based R&D staff. The total number of molecules in development have not been divulged, but Fresenius has said it is in the high single-digits and includes versions of AbbVie’s Humira (adalimumab), Amgen’s Neulasta…