Deal-Making

Roche inks $110m allogeneic CAR-T deal with Poseida

Switzerland’s Roche has jumped deeper into the allogeneic cell therapy space through an off-the-shelf CAR-T collaboration and license deal with Poseida Therapeutics. Pharma giant Roche’s adventure in the cell and gene space began with gene therapies, acquiring Spark Therapeutics in 2019 for $4.3 billion and instantly adding one of just a handful of approved products. Luxturna (voretigene neparvovec), a one-time gene therapy for an inherited retinal disease, was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in December 2017. Having…

Further CDMO consolidation in CGT space as RoslinCT and Lykan agree to merge

The combination of the two cell and gene therapy CDMOs brings customers a transatlantic footprint and combined expertise, the companies say. UK-based cell therapy contract development and manufacturing organisation (CDMO) RoslinCT – a spinout from the Roslin Institute – has entered into a business combination agreement with Massachusetts-based Lykan Bioscience to merge. “The combination will create a global leader in process development and GMP manufacturing of advanced cell and gene therapies with transatlantic footprint in the US and UK,” a…

CGT Catapult joins personalized cell therapy consortium

Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult (CGT Catapult) has launched a consortium to advance manufacturing of personalized cell therapies. The consortium, of which UK-based advanced therapy developer Achilles Therapeutics is project coordinator, has been awarded $4.2 million by Horizon Europe to advance a bioprocessing manufacturing platform for personalized therapies. According to CGT, the existing manufacturing platforms on the market are hindered in their ability to deliver sufficient real-time dating during production, which limits overall scalability and decision making. The company said…

Merck forks out $35m for Kelun-Biotech ADC deal

Merck & Co. has entered into a partnership and exclusive license agreement with Kelun-Biotech to develop an investigational antibody drug conjugate (ADC) to treat solid tumors. The deal, of which Kelun-Biotech (a holding subsidiary of Sichuan Kelun Pharmaceutical) will receive an upfront payment of $35 million and has the potential to get further commercial payments totalling up to $901 million dependent on specific milestones. Earlier this year, Merck (known as MSD outside of North America) chose to exercise an option…

Pandemic preparedness: GSK enters agreement with 12 EU countries

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has signed an agreement to reserve, produce, and supply its influenza vaccine Adjupanrix to 12 European countries. Under the terms of the deal, GSK has signed a contract with the European Commission’s (EC) Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority (HERA), for the reservation of future manufacture of 85 million doses of Adjupanrix (split virion, inactivated, adjuvanted). The twelve countries involved have not been disclosed but according to GSK, this is one of the first contracts signed by HERA…

Sartorius M&A ready with €10bn war chest

Sartorius has around €10 billion ($10.2 billion) firepower at its disposal but says it is interested in complementary technologies and innovation rather than just bulking up its market share. Like its rival bioprocess peers, Sartorius has been active in the mergers and acquisition space. The Germany-based firm has built up its product portfolio and biopharma services business through complementary M&A and is set to continue such a strategy going forward. In the firm’s first half 2022 conference call, CEO Joachim…

Ginkgo forks out $300m to acquire Zymergen

Through the acquisition of Zymergen, Ginkgo Bioworks anticipates accelerating the development of its horizontal synthetic biology platform. According to Gingko, the $300 million deal will see it implement Zymergen’s software, data science tools, automation, and biological assets into its business. In turn, Ginkgo expects this to increasingly enhance the capacity, efficiency, and capabilities of its platform. Ginkgo describes itself as “a horizontal platform, serving customers across industries rather than producing its own products.” This acquisition will see the firm support…

Lonza H1: Biologics biz boosted by $130m Allakos cancellation fee

Capacity cancellations are both common and ‘integral’ in the CDMO space says Lonza, as it reports a $130 million termination fee as a one-time item in its first half 2022 financials. For the first half 2022, contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) Lonza reported sales within its biologics division of CHF 1.63 billion ($1.68 billion), up 26% on the year prior. The company attributed this to sustained demand across end markets, supported by capacity expansions ramp-ups, but the period was…

TFBS to grow viral vector ops with help from Univercells

TFBS Biosciences’ will use Univercells Technologies scale-X platform at its facility in Taipei City to expand its viral vector operations. Contract development manufacturing organization (CDMO) TFBS claims it is the first viral vector production provider in Taiwan and plans to use Univercells’ scale-X carbo mid-scale fixed-bed bioreactor to expand its viral vector operations. “Univercells Technologies will provide a range of integrated services to the TFBS team, levering our understanding of the technology and its application for many processes. The main…

Lenti of deals: Oxford Biomedica inks two agreements

Oxford Biomedica’s LentiStable technology will be used by Orchard Therapeutics to develop investigational HSC therapy, OTL-203. The firm will also license its LentiVector platform to an undisclosed company for its lead CAR-T program. According to Oxford Biomedica, Orchard Therapeutics will use its LentiStable technology platform to develop a producer cell line with the ability to express lentiviral vectors. In particular, the project will focus specifically on progressing candidate clones of OTL-203, a gene therapy that aims to potentially treat mucopolysaccharidosis…