Upstream & Downstream Processing

MilliporeSigma: Over 90% growth comes from mAbs, despite new modality momentum

MilliporeSigma is seeing “terrific momentum” from the burgeoning cell and gene therapy space, but says double-digit growth continues to be driven by monoclonal antibodies (mAbs). The recent buzz in biopharma has been around the cell and gene therapy space, along with other modalities such as mRNA. It is no surprise that news outlets, such as this one, focus on ‘new’ modalities such as cell therapies, gene therapies, and mRNA. These are touted as the next-generation in treating and curing diseases,…

Avantor partners with NIBRT to take on biopharma bottlenecks

Avantor has teamed up with Ireland’s National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training (NIBRT) to develop solutions for “bottlenecks” that increase the cost and time it takes to make biopharmaceuticals. The collaboration – financial terms of which were not provided – will see Avantor install in-line dilution systems at NIBRT’s facility in Dublin, Ireland. The idea is to provide technicians with hands-on experience of the technology according to Killian O’Driscoll, NIBRT director of projects. “The in-line dilution technology will be…

Thermo to add culture media production capacity at Scotland site by 2021

Thermo Fisher Scientific will spend $24 million (€22 million) to up culture media capacity at its Inchinnan, Scotland facility. The firm said it will add large-volume liquid manufacturing capacity for cell culture media by 2021. Cory Stevenson, president of Thermo Fisher’s bioproduction business, said increased biopharmaceutical industry demand prompted the investment. “More and more customers are outsourcing their liquid manufacturing to ensure the highest quality while delivering efficiency.” “This investment will expand capabilities and expertise at our existing cell culture…

Vetter to use robotics in aseptic production processes

Vetter says the use of artificial intelligence will become ever more specific in the biopharma production space and plans to use robotics in aseptic processes. German fill/finish and pharma services firm Vetter has completed a pilot project using a dual-arm robot in secondary packaging. “Robotics have been widespread in pharmaceutical manufacturing for many years. At Vetter, for example, we have been using classical robotics in our pharmaceutical production since the 1990’s,” Vetter spokesperson Markus Kirchner told this publication. “We see…

Algenex looks to moth-based expression to disrupt bioprocessing

Algenex says its insect pupae-based expression platform CrisBio could disrupt the biologics space as the EMA receives the first submission for a vaccine using the technology. Earlier this month, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) accepted a submission to review for a recombinant virus like particle (VLP)-based vaccine produced using Algenex’ proprietary CrisBio technology. While the dossier submitted was for a veterinary vaccine, Algenex said this first submission helps validate the CrisBio platform and demonstrates the potential of the baculovirus-based expression…

Supplier relationships critical in driving process intensification, says BMS

Process intensification is driving down costs in the biologics space, but manufacturing firms need to treat vendors like partners and not simply suppliers, says Bristol-Myers Squibb. Process intensification emerged as one of the hot topics at Biotech Week Boston last month. There were multiple talks and discussions looking at strategies such as perfusion-based cell culture, multicolumn chromatography in the downstream, and the increased use of analytical technologies aimed at intensifying manufacturing processes. Ciaran Brady, executive director of Manufacturing, Science and…

Thermo Fisher: ‘Bio market is good but our position is better’

Thermo Fisher has reported another quarter of double-digit in its life sciences division attributing its competitive strength to its diversified offering. For the third quarter 2019, Thermo Fisher reported sales of $6.3 billion (€5.7 billion), up 6% year-on-year. Within the firm’s Life Sciences Solutions Segment division, which includes bioprocess equipment and its biomanufacturing business, revenues grew 13% to $1.7 billion. Last quarter, analysts claimed the “bioprocessing ecosystem [was] on fire,” and another period of double-digit growth, for Thermo Fisher at…

Skids and resins: Pall divulges more on Sartorius divestment

In a letter to customers, Pall Corporation has revealed the exact businesses and products it is selling to Sartorius to facilitate Danaher’s acquisition of GE Biopharma. Last week, Danaher Corporation announced plans to divest parts of its bioprocessing businesses to help facilitate the $21.4 billion (€19.2 billion) takeover of GE Healthcare’s Life Sciences business. The firm said rival bioprocess vendor Sartorius is in line to pick up its biomolecular characterization business FortéBio, its SoloHill microcarrier technology unit, and various chromatography…

Danaher offloads assets to Sartorius for $750m; GE buy pushed back to 2020

Sartorius will add biomolecular characterization, chromatography hardware and resins, and microcarriers in the deal, dependent on the closure of Danaher’s acquisition of GE Healthcare’s Biopharma business. Earlier this year, Danaher Corporation announced its intention to increase its presence in the bioprocessing space through the full biopharma portion of GE Healthcare’s Life Sciences business for approximately $21.4 billion (€19.2 billion). The GE business unit will, once the deal closes, become the latest subsidiary of Danaher, which boasts Pall Corporation, Sciex, and…

MilliporeSigma goes acoustic with FloDesign Sonics buy

Merck KGaA unit MilliporeSigma has boosted its CAR-T autologous manufacturing services by buying FloDesign Sonics, adding an acoustic cell processing platform. MilliporeSigma, the life sciences division of Germany’s Merck, says it intends to offer the tech platform of its new acquisition to cell therapy manufacturing customers. Massachusetts-based FloDesign Sonics’ first commercial product, Ekko, allows the wash, concentration and formulation is based on its acoustic wave separation (AWS) system that uses a three-dimensional standing wave that traps and gathers cells in…