Upstream & Downstream Processing

GE Healthcare Spin-Off: “A Major M&A Chip Off the Table”

GE will separate its Healthcare division over the next two to three years in efforts to reduce debt. The news may disappoint acquisition-hungry life science rivals Thermo Fisher and Danahar, say analysts. John Flannery, chairman and CEO of General Electric (GE) announced today plans to separate GE Healthcare, along with industrial services firm BHGE, in efforts to “unlock both a pure-play healthcare company and a tier-one oil and gas servicing and equipment player.” The industrial conglomerate GE has struggled over…

Pfenex: Bacterial System Overcomes Protein Challenges, Inhouse and Out

“The more you engineer a protein, the less natural it becomes,” says Pfenex executive Patrick Lucy. The firm is using its clinically validated microbial expression platform to overcome these challenges for both its own product pipeline and its partners. In May, Pfenex announced positive Phase III data showing its lead candidate PF708 is comparable with Eli Lilly’s osteoporosis drug Forteo (teriparatide). The candidate – classed as a biosimilar in Europe but being filed in the US as a therapeutic equivalent…

WuXi Pumps $20m into Conjugation and Fill/Finish Site

WuXi Biologics has begun building a biologics conjugation and drug product plant in China to support antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) services. To be known as DP3, the 6,000m2 facility will be the third drug product site for the contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) and is expected to be open next year. The facility in Wuxi City, China will offer both clinical and commercial antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) services and will be an extension of similar conjugation and fill/finish operations at WuXi’s…

Sartorius Pumps $100m in Puerto Rico, Doubles SU Bag and Filter Capacity

North American demand for aseptic filters and single-use bags drove Sartorius to expand its facility in Yauco, Puerto Rico. German bioprocessing supplier Sartorius began expanding its Yauco production and distribution center in 2016 and has invested more than US$100 million (€86 million), according to spokesperson Timo Lindemann. The investment brings Sartorius an additional area covering nearly 190,000 square meters – around two million square feet – he told BioProcess Insider. “A focal area of investment will be on expanding aseptic…

Jefferson Bioprocessing Institute Aims to Feed High Demand for Skilled Workers

GE Healthcare and Ireland’s NIBRT will support the Jefferson Institute for Bioprocessing, set to open its doors next year. The site in Pennsylvania will train around 2,500 people in biomanufacturing operations per year. “There is high demand for trained professionals in the growing fields of biologics,” Debbie Goldberg, director of Public Relations at Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University), told BioProcess Insider. As such, the education and training institute for bioprocessing has selected a site and will open its…

Patheon On Keeping Up With Biologics Demand

  Patheon is doubling its biomanufacturing capacity through a $50 million investment in Missouri. We spoke with the CDMO about the continued demand for biologics services and its relationship with owner Thermo Fisher. In April, contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) Patheon announced plans to add 16,000 L of single-use capacity at its St Louis, Missouri facility. The US$50 million (€43 million) expansion effectively doubles the firm’s global biomanufacturing capacity. According to David Kenyon, senior director of Global Scientific and Technical…

Benitec Scale-Up Success with Insect-Based Tech Ahead of IND Filing

Benitec Biopharma says it has successfully scaled-up its investigational oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy (OPMD) gene therapy using a baculovirus-based expression system. Benitec Biopharma’s lead candidate BB-301 is a gene therapy for the treatment of oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy (OPMD), a disease caused by a mutation of the poly(A)-binding protein nuclear 1 (PABPN1) gene. The candidate received orphan drug status from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in January this year, and the firm hopes to bring it into the clinic by…

Coming to America: WuXi Biologics Expands Again

WuXi Biologics will construct its first biomanufacturing facility in the US. The US$60 million plant is the third overseas expansion announced in the past month by the Chinese CDMO. Chinese contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) WuXi Biologics has rapidly begun expanding its biomanufacturing capacity. A string of investments over the past few weeks will add new capacity in China as well as see the firm venture overseas, including in the US where a US$60 million (€51 million) plant in…

Automated Tech Ups Hitachi’s Cell Therapy Interest

Recent entrant to the regenerative medicine space Hitachi Chemical has partnered with Invetech to commercialize the Counter-Flow Centrifugation system – an automated platform for cell therapy manufacturing. The partnership will allow customers of Hitachi Chemical Advanced Therapeutics Solutions (HCATS) to access Invetech’s Counter-Flow Centrifugation (CFC) system in the clinical and commercial manufacturing of cell-based therapies using closed single-use disposables. Hitachi entered the regenerative medicine space in 2017 through the $US75 million (€64 million) acquisition of cell therapy contract development and…

Media Control: Fujifilm Buys Irvine Scientific for $800m

The acquisition of cell culture media firm Irvine Scientific complements Fujifilm’s bioprocessing business and helps ensure supply chain control, the company told us at BIO. Fujifilm Corporation has completed the acquisition of Irvine Scientific (ISUS) and IS Japan (ISJ) for US$800 million (€680 million) from fellow Japanese-headquartered firm JXTG Nippon Oil & Energy Corporation. The deal, first announced in March, brings Fujifilm an increased presence in the life sciences service industry, adding a range of media for industrial cell culture,…