Upstream & Downstream Processing

Cytiva rises out of GE Healthcare as Danaher completes $21bn deal

It’s “absolutely business as usual” says Cytiva, the bioprocess vendor formerly known as GE Healthcare Life Sciences, despite a new owner and an ongoing coronavirus pandemic.   Three months later than originally planned, Danaher Corporation has completed the largest ever acquisition in the bioprocess space, adding the biopharma business unit of GE Healthcare to its life sciences portfolio. The $21.4 billion (€19.4 billion) deal brings Danaher a range of products including the AKTA, Hyclone, MabSelect, Wave, and Xcellerex brands, along…

Lonza media launch to support Sf9 insect cells for gene therapy production

Insect-based expression systems remain effective in making gene therapies says Lonza as it launches a medium specifically to produce Adeno Associated Virus (AAV) in Spodoptera Frugiperda (Sf9) cells. According to Lonza, the TheraPEAK SfAAV Medium is the first chemically defined, non-animal origin medium designed specifically for the production of AAV in Sf9 insect cells for gene therapy applications. “This medium is chemically defined and we have compared its performance with four other media on the market currently. It allows for…

Eppendorf expands centrifuge business with Koki buy

Eppendorf says the addition of Koki Holdings’ centrifuge business will help provide its biopharma customers a full product portfolio for centrifugation steps in clinical trial, drug discovery and production. The deal – financials of which have not been disclosed – sees German bioprocess vendor Eppendorf expand its business through the addition of Tokyo, Japan-based Koki’s ‘himac’ brand of centrifuge equipment. “A full functioning business organization, including R&D, operations, sales/service and business administration will be carved out of Koki Holdings Co.,”…

Danaher closes in on $21bn GE takeover after FTC approval

Danaher says the GE Biopharma takeover will complete this month after US competition authorities grant conditional approval for the $21.4 billion deal. The condition imposed by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is that Danaher sells some bioprocessing technologies and products. The Commission announced its decision on March 20, explaining the original deal would have unfairly reduced competition. The divested techs will include microcarrier beads, various chromatography columns and skids, single use tangential flow filtration systems, label-fee molecular characterization instruments…

Thermo acts to support vaccine developers as vendors adapt to COVID-19 crisis

Thermo Fisher Scientific says it is working to support vaccine developers while keeping employees safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a March 17 statement Thermo has banned travel via air, rail or sea for all employees globally. Instead the firm will use virtual meeting and online technology to interact with customers, including biopharmaceutical companies that are working on vaccines against the SARS-COV2 virus, which causes COVID-19. Spokesman Ron O’brien told us “To meet the global demand for readily available…

Sartorius to reduce virgin plastic use as part of recycling pact

Sartorius has signed up to a Europe-wide agreement focused on improving how single-use plastics are recycled. The European Plastics Pact, which was launched last week, is a voluntary scheme designed to improve how plastic is recycled. Signatories will collaborate to develop processing techniques and common standards. A Sartorius spokesman told us, “We have kicked off an initiative to build our plastic strategy for our single-use products on the basis of a circular plastics economy. This strategy is oriented toward the…

MilliporeSigma: Thermo Fisher’s Qiagen buy ‘no threat’ to bioprocess landscape

Merck KGaA says bioprocess M&A is significantly different than in the pharma world and sees no challenge to its MilliporeSigma division from Thermo Fisher’s recent acquisitions. Last week, bioprocess vendor Thermo Fisher agreed to buy Qiagen for $11.5 billion (€10.1 billion). The deal will bolster Thermo Fisher’s diagnostics business and add sample preparation, assay development and bioinformatics capabilities to its genetic analysis and biosciences capabilities. It is also the latest billion-dollar plus deal for Thermo Fisher, which has in recent…

Culture Biosciences raises $15m for bioreactor capacity hike

Culture Biosciences will use new funding to increase bioreactor capacity and create additional monitoring software. The San Francisco contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) announced the completion of a $15 million (€13.4 million) series A financing round this week, explaining it had attracted support from new venture capital backers as well as existing investors. Culture Biosciences said it will use the cash to triple bioreactor capacity and to create additional cloud-based biomanufacturing R&D software monitoring and development tools. CEO Will…

Transcenta claims perfusion-based mAb production ‘milestone’

Transcenta says efforts to intensify perfusion-based mAb production platform should give it competitive edge. It made the claim last week, also announcing that tweaks to its perfusion platform allowed it to increase productivity to greater than 4 g/L per day for multiple cell lines. Such intensification is key to Transcenta’s competitive strategy according to CEO Xueming Qian, who citied demand for sustainable supply of lower cost, higher quality medicines as key. “With drug pricing and affordability at the top of…