Upstream & Downstream Processing

Sartorius to reduce virgin plastic use as part of recycling pact

Sartorius has signed up to a Europe-wide agreement focused on improving how single-use plastics are recycled. The European Plastics Pact, which was launched last week, is a voluntary scheme designed to improve how plastic is recycled. Signatories will collaborate to develop processing techniques and common standards. A Sartorius spokesman told us, “We have kicked off an initiative to build our plastic strategy for our single-use products on the basis of a circular plastics economy. This strategy is oriented toward the…

MilliporeSigma: Thermo Fisher’s Qiagen buy ‘no threat’ to bioprocess landscape

Merck KGaA says bioprocess M&A is significantly different than in the pharma world and sees no challenge to its MilliporeSigma division from Thermo Fisher’s recent acquisitions. Last week, bioprocess vendor Thermo Fisher agreed to buy Qiagen for $11.5 billion (€10.1 billion). The deal will bolster Thermo Fisher’s diagnostics business and add sample preparation, assay development and bioinformatics capabilities to its genetic analysis and biosciences capabilities. It is also the latest billion-dollar plus deal for Thermo Fisher, which has in recent…

Culture Biosciences raises $15m for bioreactor capacity hike

Culture Biosciences will use new funding to increase bioreactor capacity and create additional monitoring software. The San Francisco contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) announced the completion of a $15 million (€13.4 million) series A financing round this week, explaining it had attracted support from new venture capital backers as well as existing investors. Culture Biosciences said it will use the cash to triple bioreactor capacity and to create additional cloud-based biomanufacturing R&D software monitoring and development tools. CEO Will…

Transcenta claims perfusion-based mAb production ‘milestone’

Transcenta says efforts to intensify perfusion-based mAb production platform should give it competitive edge. It made the claim last week, also announcing that tweaks to its perfusion platform allowed it to increase productivity to greater than 4 g/L per day for multiple cell lines. Such intensification is key to Transcenta’s competitive strategy according to CEO Xueming Qian, who citied demand for sustainable supply of lower cost, higher quality medicines as key. “With drug pricing and affordability at the top of…

Repligen up on OPUS and gene therapy demand

Repligen says it will continue to expand capacity to feed demand for its OPUS range of prepacked chromatography columns. For the full year 2019, revenues at bioprocess vendor Repligen Corporation came in at $270 million (€250 million), up from $194 million in 2018. Revenues grew across all the firm’s divisions, with organic growth of 20%, 30% and 40% for Repligen’s proteins, filtration and chromatography franchises, respectively. And within the chromatography franchise, the firm’s OPUS range of prepacked chromatography columns stood…

KKR pumps €50m into Univercells through Gamma funding platform

Over a quarter of Gamma Bioscience’s $200 million funding for next-generation bioprocessing technologies will be used to support Univercells’ biomanufacturing tech platforms. In January, global investment firm KKR launched Gamma Bioscience, a portfolio of life sciences tools subsidiaries. The first company to fall under the umbrella was Astrea Bioseparations, a ligand discovery and adsorbent development services firm, previously known as Prometic Bioseparations, acquired by KKR for around $100 million (€93 million) in November 2019. Now KKR and co-investors have committed…

Bio-Rad optimistic about 2020 despite $20m impact of Q4 cyber-attack

Bio-Rad Laboratories expects to recover 25% of the revenue shortfall resulting from the cyber-attack it suffered in Q4. The US research and clinical diagnostic reagents firm made the prediction during a conference call this week. CFO Ilan Daskal told analysts “Fourth quarter revenue fell short by about $20 million from the midpoint of our guidance, mainly due to the cyber-attack that we reported in early December. He added, “We expect to recover in Q1 of 2020 about $5 million of…

Eppendorf launches twin and flexible bioreactor control system

Eppendorf has launched the SciVario bioreactor control system, which it says allows constant monitoring of two vessels at the same time. The SciVario twin control system, compatible with Eppendorf’s range of bioreactors, fermenters and single-use vessels, aims to help drug developers and researchers by providing a flexible controller to help adapt to changing requirements in a laboratory. “The controller was designed in a compact way to control two vessels in parallel to save space on the bench, but at the…

MilliporeSigma looks to ‘ReForm’ bioformulations with excipient collaboration

MilliporeSigma has teamed with ReForm Biologics to develop and license excipients for use in biologic formulations. The agreement will see the life science business of Germany’s Merck KGaA – known as MilliporeSigma in North America – access proprietary excipients from ReForm Biologics. The bioprocess vendor will fund the development of these excipients for use in the formulation of biological drugs, as well as take charge of manufacturing and commercializing them. “The parties have agreed to keep the exact terms to…