Upstream & Downstream Processing

Cannabis culture: Cronos buys 102,000 L microbial plant from Apotex

The facility in Winnipeg, Canada will be used to produce cell cultured cannabinoids through its collaboration with Ginkgo Bioworks, says Cronos Group. Cannabinoid company Cronos Group has agreed to buy Apotex Fermentation Inc’s 84,000 square-foot biomanufacturing factory in Winnipeg for an undisclosed fee. If the deal closes – expected in Q3 – it will bring Cronos a facility with a combined production capacity of 102,000L, three downstream processing plants, and bulk product and packaging capabilities. The site will support manufacturing…

Instrumental deal: Agilent to bolster cell analysis biz with BioTek buy

Agilent Technologies’ $1.165 billion acquisition of cell analysis firm BioTek Instruments will bring increased exposure to biopharma end markets, according to an analyst. Life sciences technology and services firm Agilent has agreed to pay $1.165 billion (€1 billion) for BioTek Instruments, adding numerous cell analysis tools to its portfolio. These include cell imaging systems, microplate readers, washers, dispensers, automated incubators and stackers, all used in the analysis and quantification of biomolecules and cell therapies. “[BioTek] positions Agilent well in the…

Single-use techs are garbage, eventually, and that’s great for biopharma

Biopharma is starting to use single-use technologies more widely but understanding the pros and cons is vital say experts. The key characteristic of any single-use technology is its disposability. Being able to throw away rather than clean equipment after use is a major benefit. Cleaning a stainless steel system takes time and money says Andrew Sinclair, founder of Biopharm Services. “Cleaning a typical stainless steel system can be complex as the equipment and associated pipework needs to be cleaned together…

M&A hungry BioLife to buy cold-chain services firm SAVSU

Having gradually increased its stake in the cloud-based cold-chain management firm, BioLife Solutions will buy the remaining 56% of shares to bolster its cell and gene therapy offering. Supplier of cell and gene therapy tools BioLife has been experiencing huge growth over the past few quarters (51% increase year-on-year for its Q1 2019, for example) due to the high demand for bio-preservation media and automated thawing products. The firm has been looking to take advantage of the continued demand from…

Teva partnership looks to up its biologics productivity

Teva has teamed with Just Biotherapeutics to develop a high productivity biomanufacturing process as it focuses its efforts towards biopharmaceuticals. The partnership aims to develop methods to lower the cost of biomanufacturing. Just Biotherapeutics – recently acquired by Germany’s Evotec – will design and development a high yielding manufacturing process for one of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries’ complex products. Further details of the process, molecule or the finances of the deal were not answered by either company when contacted by this…

Fujifilm investing $30m into cell culture media plant in Netherlands

Fujifilm Irvine Scientific says a third facility at its Tilburg site will help meet future demand for cell culture media from biomanufacturers. Plans have been laid for a 250,000 square-foot building at Fujifilm’s site in Tilburg, The Netherlands to produce a range of media for the biomanufacturing space. When operations begin – expected late 2021 – the plant will increase Fujifilm Irvine Scientific’s production capacity by 320,000 Kg per year for dry powder, and 470,000 L per year for liquids.…

ambr alert: Sartorius vessel specialized for cell & gene therapies

Sartorius has launched an ambr 250 vessel for cell and gene therapy applications it says taps into industry’s transition from adherent to suspension cell culture formats. Sartorius Stedim Biotech (SSB) has added to its range of ambr 250 modular benchtop bioreactor systems with a single-use vessel designed to accelerate the process development of cell and gene therapy applications, before scaling-up into single-use bioreactors and bags. Existing ambr mammalian vessels are often used for process development of monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) in…

MilliporeSigma plans to ramp up filtration manufacture in NH

MilliporeSigma intends to add an additional 38,500 square feet of manufacturing space at its site in New Hampshire to support demand for filtration devices. The bioprocessing business unit of Germany’s Merck KGaA, MilliporeSigma, has revealed it is planning to expand a site in Jaffrey, New Hampshire that makes filtration equipment for the life sciences industry. “To meet the future demands of the bioprocessing market, we are in the approval process to expand the facility with additional cleanroom and lab space…

Middle class: Lonza on the flexibility of midscale biomanufacturing

With construction of a 6,000 L scale hybrid plant underway, CDMO Lonza says there is high demand among its customers for midscale biomanufacturing. In this industry, companies and commentators like talking about extremes: either small-scale single-use or large-scale stainless steel. But speaking at the BPI Theater at BIO in Philadelphia earlier this month, Stéphane Varray, commercial development for midscale at Lonza Pharma and Biotech said midscale options provide firms with flexibility across numerous modalities. “When we look at midscale we’re…

Fujifilm tackles buffer bottleneck at $10m continuous processing plant

Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies says it can overcome the burden of large buffer volumes associated with continuous purification as part of a new UK processing facility. The facility in Billingham, UK will include a 500 L single-use perfusion bioreactor and 7 downstream processing units and is expected to begin offering process development later this year. The plant represents a $10 million (€8.9 million) investment by the contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) and is the culmination of three years of in-house…