Upstream & Downstream Processing

Repligen $100m+ CAPEX plan latest example of robust bioprocess sector

Repligen will spend roughly $100 million over the next five years across all its franchises to feed the continued demand for biomanufacturing services and tools. During a recent meeting with Jefferies analyst Brandon Couillard, Repligen CEO Tony Hunt and CFO Jon Sondgres spoke about the benefits of recent expansions in its bioprocess network and said it will be spending upwards of $100 million over the next five years to support its long-term capacity needs. “We shared that we are spending…

Single-use tech “unstoppable” if suppliers can meet soaring demand, says GSK

COVID-19 has further increased already soaring demand for single-use tech according to a GSK expert who says boosting supply is key. Most biopharmaceuticals are made in stainless steel systems. But the past decade has seen interest in using disposable single-use systems increase. Initially the focus was in clinical supply. However, as Weibing Ding, director of GSK Pharma in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania told BPI East virtual conference delegates, a growing number of companies are trialing single-use systems for commercial-scale production.…

Catalent adds early-stage plant to its blooming(ton) fill/finish business

CDMO Catalent says it is looking to serve fill and finish demand for early-phase customers in its $14 million acquisition of a second facility in Bloomington, Indiana. Three years after AB BioTechnologies broke ground on a 23,000 square-foot facility, fellow contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) Catalent has acquired it for $14 million – $3.5 million more than the 2017 investment. The facility adds clinical and small-scale commercial manufacturing for injectable drugs to Catalent’s growing fill and finish network and…

Combined Therapeutics wins $250,000 MilliporeSigma Advance Biotech Grant

MilliporeSigma has awarded MIT spin-out Combined Therapeutics a cheque for $250,000 as the winner of its 2020 Advance Biotech Grant. Combined Therapeutics (CTx) is an early stage startup developing next generation virotherapies targeted with nucleic acids. The pre-clinical biotech aims to develop therapies to treat liver cancer using its targeted oncolytic platform. The firm – founded by MIT professors Robert Langer and Dan Anderson, along with entrepreneur Romain Micol – was the prestigious winner Thursday of the MilliporeSigma Advance Biotech…

Biopharma set for COVID-related single-use shortages, says survey

Biopharma faces delays obtaining single-use systems according to a survey that suggests disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and increasing demand will result in shortages. Single-use bioprocessing technologies now dominate the pre-commercial manufacturing space according to research by Bioplan Associates. The organization quizzed 130 executives at biopharma firms and contract development and manufacturing organizations (CDMOs) and 150 tech suppliers and found that demand for single-use systems (SUS) has continued to increase in recent years. According to Bioplan managing partner Eric…

With no biopharma slowdown in sight, Cytiva plans $500m operational boost

Cytiva’s five-year manufacturing growth strategy includes expanding facilities and 24/7 shift patterns to support continued double-digit biopharma growth and a COVID-19 tailwind In April, Danaher Corporation completed its $21 billion acquisition of General Electric’s (GE’s) Healthcare Life Sciences business and five months later the division – renamed Cytiva – has laid out an aggressive growth strategy to deal with demand for its bioprocess equipment and services. “Cytiva is deploying a multi-pronged approach to expand our global manufacturing capacity,” Emmanuel Ligner,…

Automation: ‘The only way to truly scale cell therapy manufacture’ says Lonza

Lonza says it has achieved a significant milestone with partner Sheba Medical treating its first patient with a CD19 CAR-T cell immunotherapy made using the automated point-of-care Cocoon technology. In March 2019, Swiss CDMO Lonza entered a partnership with Israel’s Sheba Medical Center to provide automated and closed CAR-T manufacturing using its point-of-care (POC) Cocoon cell therapy manufacturing platform. This week, Sheba and Lonza announced the first patient has been dosed with a CD19 CAR-T cell immunotherapy made using the…

MilliporeSigma adding 160 jobs to expanded NH filtration plant

MilliporeSigma will run a recently expanded facility in Jaffray, New Hampshire on a 24-hour cycle due to increased demand for filtration devices and membranes, driven in part by COVID-19. In June 2019, MilliporeSigma – the bioprocessing business unit of Germany’s Merck KGaA – announced plans to expand its site in Jaffrey, New Hampshire. The site produces a variety of filtration devices and membranes that support the life science industries and the manufacture of biopharmaceuticals. The 35,800 additional square feet of…

Proteinea using fly larvae as ‘mini-bioreactors’ in challenge to industry

Producing recombinant proteins in fly larvae instead of single-cell technologies could reduce biomanufacturing costs by up to 90%, says bioprocess startup firm Proteinea. Proteinea, a US and Egyptian startup, is looking to change the economics of biomanufacturing. The firm challenging the standard of using stainless-steel or single-use bioreactor systems to produce biologics by instead leveraging its insect-based biotechnology platform. Rather than produce a recombinant protein in single bacteria, yeast or mammalian cells, the firm uses InsectaPro, its platform comprising of…

Astrea buys filtration firm ELS and hints at more acquisitions

Astrea Bioseparations has acquired Essential Life Solutions (ELS) adding a chromatography column portfolio and operations in the US. The deal, financial details of which have not been divulged, closed last week bringing Astrea the SNAP brand of chromatography column products for research and small-scale purification of biological products. “SNAP columns are high precision, glass columns used with HPLC/FPLC systems for development of purification processes and lab scale chromatography,” Astrea told this publication. The range will complement Astrea’s bioprocess offering, which…