Deal-Making

Emerson buys Bio-G, adding modeling and scheduling software

Analytics and modeling tools can help deliver more effective and safer therapies to patients says Emerson, fresh from its acquisition of Bioproduction Group (Bio-G). Terms of the acquisition have not been divulged, but technology and engineering company Emerson extends its life sciences technology portfolio through the addition of Bio-G. “Many of biopharma’s biggest companies use Bio-G’s modeling and scheduling software for de-bottlenecking and optimization, and many of these same companies trust Emerson expertise and software to control their production and…

Catalent’s Paragon plans second plant to support Sarepta pipeline

Fresh from an acquisition agreement by Catalent, Paragon Bioservices is seeking to establish a second manufacturing plant dedicated to produce Sarepta Therapeutics’ gene therapy pipeline. Last week, contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) Catalent agreed to acquire gene therapy maker Paragon for $1.2 billion (€1.1 billion). Within hours of the announcement Paragon, with Catalent’s backing, said it is seeking to establish a second manufacturing facility at its site in Anne Arundel County, Maryland for the dedicated production of Sarepta gene…

Allele SCM partnership looks to stem cells to treat diabetes

Allele Biotechnology has teamed with SCM Lifescience to develop diabetes therapies using pancreatic beta cells derived from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). “By nature, pluripotent stem cells like iPSCs can be expanded indefinitely and differentiated into all human tissue types, including pancreatic cells,” a spokesperson from the San Diego-based biotech Allele, told Bioprocess Insider. Therefore, they can be a viable option for diabetes treatment. “iPSC-derived cells are already known to have biological functions, such as blood sugar sensing and insulin…

CRISPR consortium launched to improve CHO cell lines

Horizon Discovery has launched an industry consortium aimed at improving the CHO expression platform using modern gene-editing tools such as CRISPR and rAAV. At BPI Europe in Vienna, Austria earlier this month, cell line technologies firm Horizon Discovery announced plans to create an industry group to address inadequacies with the prevalent Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) expression platform by using the gene-editing tools CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) and rAAV (recombinant adeno-associated virus). “The CHO cell line has hardly…

Catalent jumps into ‘transformative’ gene therapy space with $1.2bn Paragon buy

Contract manufacturer Catalent has agreed to buy the gene therapy CDMO Paragon Bioservices for $1.2 billion. Paragon Bioservices, a private-equity backed biologics contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) focused on gene therapy and next-generation vaccines, will be acquired by fellow CDMO Catalent, the firms announced this morning. According to its website, 50% of Paragon’s current contracts are for gene therapy. The CDMO also supports vaccine products and has previously won contracts from clients including the US Department of Defense (DoD).…

ChromaCon buy and expansions tip YMC further into the biologics space

Japanese separation resins firm YMC has acquired ChromaCon AG, adding a range of continuous chromatography technologies to its ever-increasing large molecules purification portfolio. The deal, financials of which have not been released, saw YMS acquire 100% of ChromaCon shares and intellectual property rights. This includes patents around multi-column processing, the Contichrom benchtop instrument range of products and several license arrangements. “YMC Process Technologies already manufactures and markets GMP production skids embedding ChromaCon technology,” Philipp Anstätt, strategist aligning R&D and market…

RNAi: Regeneron pumps $800m into ‘potentially game-changing science’

Regeneron will look to develop RNA interference (RNAi) therapeutics for eye and CNS diseases by teaming with and investing in Alnylam Pharmaceuticals. RNA interference (RNAi) therapies are a new class of drugs that work by inhibiting gene expression or translation by neutralizing targeted mRNA molecules. The first – and only – commercial RNAi therapy is Alnylam’s Onpattro (patisiran), approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last August for the treatment of the polyneuropathy of hereditary transthyretin-mediated (hATTR) amyloidosis…

Lonza goes live with microbiome CMO joint venture

Lonza says GMP know-how and drug delivery tech are core to its live biotherapeutics joint-venture formed with Chr. Hansen. The Swiss contractor and Danish bioscience firm set up the contract manufacturing organization (CMO) in April, citing biopharma interest as the driver. Live biotherapeutic products (LBPs), as the name suggests, are living organisms. Unlike probiotics used to try to improve general health, LBPs are drugs intended to treat or cure disease. “LBPs are regulated as drugs and have to go through…

Sangamo ‘excited’ about Thermo’s takeover of CDMO partner Brammer

Sangamo Therapeutics has secured access to large-scale AAV manufacturing through long-term partner Brammer Bio, a gene therapy CDMO set to be bought by Thermo Fisher. Sangamo Therapeutics has several gene therapy candidates moving through the clinic, including its own programs for inherited metabolic diseases and partnered programs in hematology with Pfizer and Sanofi. To support these, the firm has broadened out its manufacturing strategy by securing access to large-scale adeno-associated virus (AAV) manufacturing through an option agreement with contract development…

Samsung Bio to make $1bn worth of CytoDyn’s HIV antibody

CytoDyn has contracted Samsung BioLogics to produce the drug substance for its candidate leronlimab and says it will need at least two CMOs once the HIV inhibitor is approved. CytoDyn’s lead candidate leronlimab (PRO 140) has demonstrated antiviral activity and shown to significantly reduce viral burden in people infected with HIV in Phase II clinical trials. The fully humanized IgG4 monoclonal antibody blocks the predominant HIV (R5) subtype entry into T-cells by masking the required co-receptor, CCR5. The firm has…