Therapeutic Class

Alexion refilling pipeline through potential $1.2bn Syntimmune buy

The acquisition of early-phase biotech Syntimmune is “part and parcel” to Alexion Pharmaceuticals’ plan to build up its pipeline, says the firm’s CFO. Alexion Pharmaceuticals has entered into an agreement to buy Syntimmune for an upfront payment of $400 million (€342 million), though milestone payments could see the firm shell out a further $800 million. The deal brings Alexion SYNT001, a humanized monoclonal antibody candidate that inhibits the interaction of FcRn with Immunoglobulin G (IgG) and IgG immune complexes. The…

Gene editing deal leaves Thermo Fisher ‘unique in offering TALENs and CRISPR’

Thermo Fisher Scientific has increased its gene editing technology offering by licensing CRISPR/Cas9 technologies from the Broad Institute and ERS Genomics. Thermo Fisher will now be able to offer its biopharma customers several genome editing offerings through the in-license deals. “Genome editing has unlocked the door for researchers to begin understanding gene function, which is fundamental in unraveling and outlining basic biological processes and disease pathways,” said Helge Bastian, vice president and general manager of Synthetic Biology at Thermo Fisher…

Eli Lilly on M&A: Balancing the science with the shareholders

Many early-phase acquisitions do not make sense for shareholders despite having promising assets, says Lilly’s CFO Joshua Smiley. About a third of Lilly’s pipeline comes from M&A. Speaking to attendees at the Morgan Stanley Healthcare Conference Broker Conference Call this month, Eli Lilly CFO Joshua Smiley said his firm is “interested in doing early stage clinical deals where we see compelling scientific rationale in our key therapeutic areas and that we can upgrade our pipeline.” But deals also need to…

Video news: Pall strategic deals aim to enable biosimilar and novel scale-up

Pall Corporation has inked separate partnerships with cell line and expression tech firms Celltheon and Aetos Biologics. The deals help enable both novel and biosimilar manufacturing, the firm says. At the 2018 BPI Conference in Boston, Massachusetts earlier this month, Pall Corporation announced it had entered into a strategic partnership with cell line and expression technology platform development company Celltheon Corporation.   The deal combines Pall’s bioprocessing equipment and consumables with Celltheon’s SMART Expression Platform to offer customers integrated systems…

B-I working with CMO on viral therapies after $245m ViraTherapeutics buy

Boehringer Ingelheim has acquired ViraTherapeutics for €210 million ($245 million) and tells us how it will integrate the viral therapy firm into its oncology business. In September 2016, German biomanufacturer Boehringer Ingelheim partnered with Austrian based ViraTherapeutics GmbH to develop an oncolytic virus therapy platform and bring various programs through the clinic. As part of the deal, Boehringer Ingelheim had the right to acquire its collaborator after the conclusion of Phase I clinical development, something the firm has now undertaken…

Exclusive: Samsung BioLogics poised to enter cell therapy space

After building three large-scale biomanufacturing plants, CDMO Samsung BioLogics has told BioProcess Insider it is adding single-use capacity and is considering expanding into stem cell therapy services. It has been nine years since Samsung BioLogics entered the third-party biologics space, in which time it has brought two commercial biomanufacturing facilities online with a third expected to be fully validated by the end of this year. When operational, the firm’s site in Incheon, South Korea will boast a total of 362,000…

Shire buys sanaplasma AG to support immunology business

Shire adds 14 centers to its European-based plasma collection network through an acquisition aimed at extending long-term plasma supply. Plasma is essential to the manufacture of immunoglobulin therapies for certain rare immunological diseases. Shire, which prides itself on orphan and hemophilia drugs, has more than 100 plasma collection centers in the US and Austria and has further expanded its presence through the acquisition of sanaplasma AG. “The transaction was an acquisition of 100% of sanaplasma AG,” Shire spokesperson Paris Barker…

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…