Upstream & Downstream Processing

Astrea continues acquisition path picking up purification firm Nanopareil

A transformative year for Astrea Bioseparations has culminated in a second acquisition in a month. Philip Vanek, CTO of parent company Gamma Biosciences, talks to us about the deal, the company, and the changing bioprocess landscape. In November 2019, investment firm KKR announced its intentions to buy Prometic Bioseparations from Liminal BioSciences. In January, the deal closed with renamed Astrea Bioseparations becoming the first company in KKR’s $200 million Gamma Biosciences portfolio of life sciences tools subsidiaries. Since then, the firm…

Large-scale SUS ‘ideal’ to take on COVID-19 vaccine challenge, says ABEC

ABEC will supply six 4,000 L single-use bioreactors to the Serum Institute of India and says such large-scale systems can produce billions of doses of potential COVID-19 vaccines at reasonable costs. The six Custom Single Run (CSR) bioreactors will be delivered to the Serum Institute’s site in Pune, India and will be used to manufacture Phase II COVID-19 vaccine NVX‑CoV2373. The candidate has been developed by Novavax, which last month inked a deal with the Indian vaccine maker to produce…

Repligen $100m+ CAPEX plan latest example of robust bioprocess sector

Repligen will spend roughly $100 million over the next five years across all its franchises to feed the continued demand for biomanufacturing services and tools. During a recent meeting with Jefferies analyst Brandon Couillard, Repligen CEO Tony Hunt and CFO Jon Sondgres spoke about the benefits of recent expansions in its bioprocess network and said it will be spending upwards of $100 million over the next five years to support its long-term capacity needs. “We shared that we are spending…

Single-use tech “unstoppable” if suppliers can meet soaring demand, says GSK

COVID-19 has further increased already soaring demand for single-use tech according to a GSK expert who says boosting supply is key. Most biopharmaceuticals are made in stainless steel systems. But the past decade has seen interest in using disposable single-use systems increase. Initially the focus was in clinical supply. However, as Weibing Ding, director of GSK Pharma in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania told BPI East virtual conference delegates, a growing number of companies are trialing single-use systems for commercial-scale production.…

Catalent adds early-stage plant to its blooming(ton) fill/finish business

CDMO Catalent says it is looking to serve fill and finish demand for early-phase customers in its $14 million acquisition of a second facility in Bloomington, Indiana. Three years after AB BioTechnologies broke ground on a 23,000 square-foot facility, fellow contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) Catalent has acquired it for $14 million – $3.5 million more than the 2017 investment. The facility adds clinical and small-scale commercial manufacturing for injectable drugs to Catalent’s growing fill and finish network and…

Combined Therapeutics wins $250,000 MilliporeSigma Advance Biotech Grant

MilliporeSigma has awarded MIT spin-out Combined Therapeutics a cheque for $250,000 as the winner of its 2020 Advance Biotech Grant. Combined Therapeutics (CTx) is an early stage startup developing next generation virotherapies targeted with nucleic acids. The pre-clinical biotech aims to develop therapies to treat liver cancer using its targeted oncolytic platform. The firm – founded by MIT professors Robert Langer and Dan Anderson, along with entrepreneur Romain Micol – was the prestigious winner Thursday of the MilliporeSigma Advance Biotech…

Biopharma set for COVID-related single-use shortages, says survey

Biopharma faces delays obtaining single-use systems according to a survey that suggests disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and increasing demand will result in shortages. Single-use bioprocessing technologies now dominate the pre-commercial manufacturing space according to research by Bioplan Associates. The organization quizzed 130 executives at biopharma firms and contract development and manufacturing organizations (CDMOs) and 150 tech suppliers and found that demand for single-use systems (SUS) has continued to increase in recent years. According to Bioplan managing partner Eric…

With no biopharma slowdown in sight, Cytiva plans $500m operational boost

Cytiva’s five-year manufacturing growth strategy includes expanding facilities and 24/7 shift patterns to support continued double-digit biopharma growth and a COVID-19 tailwind In April, Danaher Corporation completed its $21 billion acquisition of General Electric’s (GE’s) Healthcare Life Sciences business and five months later the division – renamed Cytiva – has laid out an aggressive growth strategy to deal with demand for its bioprocess equipment and services. “Cytiva is deploying a multi-pronged approach to expand our global manufacturing capacity,” Emmanuel Ligner,…

Automation: ‘The only way to truly scale cell therapy manufacture’ says Lonza

Lonza says it has achieved a significant milestone with partner Sheba Medical treating its first patient with a CD19 CAR-T cell immunotherapy made using the automated point-of-care Cocoon technology. In March 2019, Swiss CDMO Lonza entered a partnership with Israel’s Sheba Medical Center to provide automated and closed CAR-T manufacturing using its point-of-care (POC) Cocoon cell therapy manufacturing platform. This week, Sheba and Lonza announced the first patient has been dosed with a CD19 CAR-T cell immunotherapy made using the…

MilliporeSigma adding 160 jobs to expanded NH filtration plant

MilliporeSigma will run a recently expanded facility in Jaffray, New Hampshire on a 24-hour cycle due to increased demand for filtration devices and membranes, driven in part by COVID-19. In June 2019, MilliporeSigma – the bioprocessing business unit of Germany’s Merck KGaA – announced plans to expand its site in Jaffrey, New Hampshire. The site produces a variety of filtration devices and membranes that support the life science industries and the manufacture of biopharmaceuticals. The 35,800 additional square feet of…