Upstream & Downstream Processing

Astrea licenses Avacta’s Affimer reagent technology

Gamma Biosciences’ bioseparation business Astrea will use the Affimer technology to expand its range of ligand discovery and development capabilities. Avacta Group’s Affimer reagents are small proteins that have a binding surface that can be tailored to capture a target molecule of interest out of complex mixtures encountered in biomanufacturing. “The Affimer reagent technology was originally developed at the MRC Cancer Unit in Cambridge UK for proteomics applications and was acquired by Avacta in 2012,” Alastair Smith, CEO of Avacta…

Rooster Bio and Sartorius team to streamline hMSC production

Cell bank firm Rooster Bio has teamed with Sartorius to find ways of scaling-up production of stem cell-based regenerative therapies. The collaboration will combine Rooster’s human mesenchymal stem/stromal cell (hMSC) working cell banks and media systems with Sartorius’ single-use manufacturing tech, process control software and analysis tools. The aim is to provide “robust, streamlined, end-to-end platform technologies and protocols that can be implemented for rapid scale up of manufacturing processes, allowing product developers to significantly speed up their development timelines,”…

Sheer magnetism: Gamma Biosciences to acquire BioMagnetic Solutions

Gamma Biosciences will buy cell selection and bioseparation company BioMagnetic Solutions to support development for advanced therapies. Funded by investment firm KKR, Gamma Biosciences is a growing portfolio of life science tools companies. The latest acquisition of BioMagnetic Solutions provides access to various resources and support needed to develop and commercialize X-GRAFFE, an immunomagnetic cell selection system based on the principle of using antibodies or other affinity ligands attached to magnetic particles. “When the antibody binds to a target (e.g.…

Joint venture promises to reduce manufacturing cost of cell and gene

Three organizations have created ScaleReady to provide a ‘cost-effective’ cell and gene production platform. The joint venture combines the capabilities of Bio-Techne, Fresenius Kabi, and Wilson Wolf, which each take an equal share in the newly created business. ScaleReady will offer technologies for cell culture, cell activation, gene editing and cell processing developed separately by these companies. The joint venture business itself will provide the sales, marketing, and application support for the cell and gene therapy manufacturing platform created by…

Pall investing $114m, adding 1,100 jobs, on back of COVID single-use demand

Pall Corporation will invest $114 million to increase global production capacity for single-use bioprocessing systems in response to COVID-19 related demand. The firm will add capacity at its facilities in Medemblik in the Netherlands, Hoegaarden in Belgium, Bad Kreuznach in Germany, Ilfracombe and Newquay in the UK, Fajardo in Puerto Rico, and Pensacola in the US. Pall cited “industry demands driven by COVID-19” as the driver for the investment adding that it expects to create 1,100 jobs globally now through…

Thermo Fisher reports $6bn+ COVID windfall in 2020

Thermo Fisher says it supported over 250 coronavirus-related programs in 2020, generating “well over $6 billion” in COVID-19 response revenue. Speaking at the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference, held virtually for the first time in its nearly 40 year history, Thermo Fisher Scientific CEO Marc Casper described 2020 as the “best year yet” for his firm, representing an “extraordinary performance in the most challenging of times.” The multinational offers a broad spectrum of biopharma services, all of which saw a surge…

Moss-based expression firm receives €60m in funding

German biotech Eleva has received funding to advance its candidate CPV-101, produced using a moss-based expression system. Venture capitalist firm Zukunftshonds Heilbronn has invested up to €60 million ($73 million) in funding to progress drug candidate CPV-101 through the clinic. A spokesperson for Eleva told us “we are developing CPV-101 for kidney-associated complement diseases such as aHUS, IgA Nephropathy, PNH, C3G.” The firm has developed a manufacturing process that produces biopharmaceuticals using moss called BryoTechnology. Eleva told BioProcess Insider “fermentation…

Up on the downstream: Sartorius to buy Novasep’s chromatography division

Sartorius Stedim Biotech says it continues to take on the challenges in efficient downstream processing through the proposed addition of Novasep’s chromatography equipment business. The deal, set to go through in the next few months, will see Sartorius bolster its downstream offering within its Stedim Biotech bioprocessing division. Financial terms have not been disclosed for now, and the acquisition is dependent on antitrust approvals. “The unit to acquire comprises resin-based batch and intensified chromatography systems, and primarily focuses on high-pressure,…

The next frontier of CAR-T cell therapies: Allogeneic workflows

The development of CAR-T cell therapies provides treatment options for some of the most vulnerable cancer patients, giving them a fighting chance to battle their diagnoses if they’re eligible. Researchers and organizations continue to work diligently to optimize the manufacturing process to develop safe and effective CAR-T cell therapies as efficiently as possible, with the hope that one day they can be manufactured at a lower cost and made available to any patient who could benefit from them. Personalized therapies…

Singapore sets sights on soaring stem cell demand

Singapore’s A*star wants to use micro-carrier tech to capture a share of the global stem cell manufacturing market. Demand for stem cells has increased markedly in recent years, creating a significant opportunity for those willing to innovate to help industry address its manufacturing challenges according to Steve Oh from A*star. “In a bid to do that, the Singapore government invested $80 million in three programmes to manufacture living cells as medicines,” Oh told delegates at the Cell and Gene Therapy…