Upstream & Downstream Processing

Bavarian Nordic to validate fill/finish plant using $44m US gov option

The US Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) has exercised a second option in its smallpox vaccine contract with Bavarian Nordic. In September 2017, the US government’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) awarded Danish vaccine manufacturer Bavarian Nordic contract for the manufacturing and storage of its smallpox vaccine worth upwards of $539 million (€474 million). To support the agreement, BARDA exercised an option in 2017 to cover development costs associated with the Phase III study of the…

Solentim and ATUM team partner for cell line development service

The collaboration brings together instrumentation with expression technology to create what the firms say is “the most efficient cell line development solution for biotherapeutic drug developers yet.” The collaboration – financials of which have not been divulged – aims at overcoming the bottlenecks in biomanufacturing by establishing and isolating the most suitable cell lines for a drug candidate. The combined offering will appeal to “pharmaceutical and biopharma companies wanting to shorten their cell line development timelines and make sure they…

Sanofi turns to high titer E. Coli platform in AbSci deal

The SoluPro E.coli manufacturing platform will be applied to two of Sanofi’s biologic candidates under a partnership deal with AbSci. Financial details of the deal have not been divulged, but the French Big Biopharma firm will use AbSci’s SoluPro expression platform on two of its molecules. The work will be undertaken at AbSci’s facilities in Vancouver, Washington, USA. According to AbSci, the platform can accelerate the time it takes to get new drugs to market through ultra-high titers of soluble,…

Selexis and Agenus expand immune-oncology cell line deal

After an initial collaboration in 2015, Selexis has signed commercial license agreements with Agenus to develop research cell banks for additional antibody programs. In 2015, clinical-stage immuno-oncology firm Agenus selected cell line development firm Selexis to collaborate on its lead anti-CTLA4 (AGEN1884) and anti-PD1 (AGEN2034) programs. Four years on and the firms have extended the deal to include the use of Selexis’ SUREtechnology platform with additional novel single agent and combination therapies. “Under the expanded collaboration, Selexis will continue to…

Univercells to scale-up sub 30 cent polio vaccine platform

A Univercells-led consortium has received a grant extension to scale-up a manufacturing platform it claims can slash the cost of inactivated polio vaccines. In December 2016, a consortium led by Belgium biomanufacturing technology firm Univercells received a $12 million (€10.4 million) grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop a low-cost vaccine manufacturing platform. The consortium also involves Batavia Biosciences which has developed the polio manufacturing process and Natrix Separations (now owned by MilliporeSigma) for the purification membrane.…

Up titer: WuXi breaks 50g/L with continuous CHO process

WuXi Biologics has achieved cell culture productivity for an Fc-fusion protein of 51 g/L and is confident it can be scaled up to 4,000 L. Single-use bioreactors are limited to 4,000 L in capacity (though many biomanufacturers put 2,000 L as their upper limit). Using these bioreactors with mammalian cell line tech is problematic for large-scale commercial use due to the generally low productivity of such expression systems, usually sub-10 g/L. But Chinese contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) WuXi…

TeneoBio expands cell banking deal with Selexis

Selexis will develop research cell banks for a further three preclinical candidates in Teneobio’s oncology pipeline of multi-specific biologics. In June 2017, biotech firm Tenebio selected cell line development and biologics services firm Selexis, part of the JSR Life Sciences group, to develop research cell banks (RCBs) for multi-specific UniAb candidates for multiple myeloma. Tenebio has now extended the contract to use Selexis’ SUREtechnology Platform for three more of its multi-specific Human Heavy-Chain Antibodies candidates, known as UniAbs. “The resounding…

Stilmas buys MarCor to boost global biopharma water biz

Stilmas Americas has been formed from the acquisition of Canada’s MarCor, bringing its purified water and water for injection (WFI) solutions to North America. The deal sees Stilmas add the high purity division of MarCor to its business. Finanacial details have not been divulged. Stilmas is a subsidiary of the Masco Group, a conglomerate which offers engineering, pure media systems – including WFI stills, purified water systems, pure steam generators – and super skid preparation systems to the biopharma industry,…

Separate together: Biotage buying purification firm PhyNexus

Swedish separations firm Biotage will add lab scale purification technology through its acquisition of PhyNexus. Financial details of the deal have not been divulged, but the California-based private firm PhyNexus has agreed to be acquired by Biotage this week. PhyNexus will bring an enabling automation platform based on Dual Flow Chromatography to Biotage’s bioprocess offering and increase the firm’s place in the downstream space. The technology enables miniaturized and parallel automated work-flows to address different laboratory purification processes. The Dual…

GE plans purification platform production plant post Puridify purchase

GE Healthcare will open a biomanufacturing center in Stevenage, UK to support production of its fiber-based purification platform, which it acquired last year. In November 2017, bioprocessing equipment and consumables vendor GE Healthcare acquired Puridify – a spin-out from University College London, UK – for an undisclosed fee. The deal added early-stage tech platform FibroSelect, consisting of a nanofiber-based material to which ligands are attached to activate the platform for purification of biologics. A year on and the firm has…