Upstream & Downstream Processing

Dyadic to Develop Biosimilars Using CHO-Challenging Expression System

Dyadic International has begun developing a pipeline of biosimilars using a fungal expression system it says achieves much higher productivity than CHO cell lines. Dyadic began looking to its enzyme production fungal expression technology for biopharmaceutical purposes in 2015 and has forged several sub-license and partnerships in the biologics space. But now the Florida-based firm has revealed it is set to develop its own biosimilar and biobetter pipeline using the expression system. “We began in earnest an R&D effort on…

‘There is No Life Sciences Equivalent of Apple,’ Horizon Discovery’s New CEO

Horizon Discovery’s new CEO Terry Pizzie says the rate of technology evolution is greater than at any other time in his illustrious career as he reflects on the state of the bioprocessing services industry. Terry Pizzie joined Horizon Discovery Group in 2017 as head of commercial operations, but in May this year he was appointed to the top job. Pizzie has worked in life sciences for close to 30 years and spoke with BioProcess Insider about the changes he has…

Teva Migraine MAb Approval Reliant on Celltrion Plant Fix

FDA approval of Teva’s fremanezumab depends on a speedy resolution of a plant run by CMO Celltrion but this is looking increasingly likely, an analyst says. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had set the Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) action date for fremanezumab, a humanized monoclonal antibody targeting calcitonin gene–related peptide (CGRP) for mid-June. But Teva Pharmaceutical Industries envisioned a delay after its contract manufacturer Celltrion received an FDA warning letter in January. Celltrion’s site in Incheon,…

Fujifilm Adds Automated Filler for Late-Stage Gene Therapies at Texas Plant

Recent gene therapy approvals have driven the demand for third-party services, says Fujifilm as it expands fill & finish capabilities at its recently opened site. In January 2018, Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies opened an 80,000 sq-ft facility in College Station, Texas, for the manufacture of gene therapies. This week, the contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) has expanded the plant to support the fill & finish of Phase III and commercial products by adding a Vanrx Pharmasystems’ SA25 automated filler. “We…

Gilead Flies a Kite for ZFN Gene Editing Tech Over CRISPR

Gilead’s CSO spoke about its choice of zinc finger nuclease (ZFN) for ex-vivo gene editing at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Healthcare Conference. In February, Kite Pharma – acquired by Gilead Sciences for US$11.9 billion in last August – struck a deal to use Sangamo Therapeutic’s ZFN technology to modify genes in the development of its autologous and allogeneic cell therapies. Kite/Gilead paid $150 million up front to the fellow Californian firm but Sangamo could be entitled to a…

WuXi Biologics: Zero to 220,000L of Capacity in 10 Years

WuXi Biologics has invested US$60 million to build a biomanufacturing facility in Singapore. By 2022, the CDMO will have 10 plants – an achievement it attributes to disposable and modular technologies. WuXi Biologics has announced plans to add a S$80 million (US$60 million) clinical and commercial biologics manufacturing in Singapore to its growing global network. When operational, the site will boast 4,500 L biomanufacturing capacity comprised of two 2,000 L traditional fed-batch and one 500 L perfusion based continuous processing…

Novasep Invests in Belgian Fill & Finish Site; Cites Lack of Global Capacity

The tension on the market surrounding the lack of fill & finish capabilities is ‘visible,’ says Novasep as it pumps US$12 million into a site in Belgium. The investment at Novasep’s site in Seneffe, Belgium will support the fill & finish for viral vectors, mAbs and other low-volume biologics. According to Laure Saloin, a spokesperson from the French life sciences services firm, the €10 million (US$11.8 million) spend supports the “one-stop-shop approach for our monoclonal antibodies and our viral-vectors bulk…

Multi-Media Player: GE Invests in EU and US Plants to Tap $1.4bn Market

The increased demand for cell growth media from biomanufacturers has driven capacity expansions at sites in Utah and Austria, says GE Healthcare. Globally, GE Healthcare has cell culture media production in Tuas (Singapore), Pasching (Austria), and Logan (Utah, US). To support growing demand from the biopharma industry, the life sciences firm has announced capacity expansions at the two latter plants. “Cell culture media is the fastest growing segment within the cell culture market and it was valued at US$1.4 billion in…

Collaboration Aims to Address Large DNA Plasmid Scale-Up Issues

CDMO Biomay has teamed with BIA Separations to tackle bottlenecks in the cell lysis and purification stages of large DNA plasmid production. Chromatographic column maker BIA Separations will work with Biomay to develop a high yield and purity manufacturing process for ‘large’ plasmid DNA used for therapeutic application. Large plasmids are commonly used as starting materials for manufacturing of viral gene therapy vectors, said Hans Huber, COO of Biomay. “For instance, manufacturing of the adeno-associated viral vector system (AAV) requires three…

Rise of the Insects: Thermo Fisher Hails Non-Mammalian Expression for Vaccines

Encouraged by success of Flublok and Cervarix, Thermo Fisher says insect protein expression systems are one of the most promising technologies being used in the development of next-generation vaccines. Thermo Fisher has launched the Gibco ExpiSf system, an insect protein expression system aimed at generating baculovirus using a suspension-based transfection protocol it says delivers protein in half the time compared to traditional insect platforms. BioProcess Insider spoke with Amy Butler (AB), vice president and general manager, Cell Biology at Thermo…