Deal-Making

AstraZeneca laying cell therapy ambitions with $200m Neogene buy

AstraZeneca will dive into the solid tumor cell therapy space through the acquisition of T-cell receptor therapy firm Neogene Therapeutics. The deal, set to close in the first quarter 2023, sees Anglo-Swedish pharma giant AstraZeneca shell out $200 million upfront to buy Neogene, though the total could be up to $320 million depending on milestones. Neogene is a developer and manufacturer of next-generation, T-cell receptor therapies (TCR-Ts) targeting neoantigens in solid cancers. The firm’s technology platform identifies the neoantigens of…

Sartorius and Exopharm to develop large-scale exosome tech

Sartorius BIA Separations (BIA) and Exopharm have signed a joint research agreement to address the technical challenges of large-scale exosomes for non-viral drug delivery. BIA – a chromatography firm acquired by Sartorius in October 2020 for $423 million – will use its Convective Interaction Media (CIM) monolith chromatography alongside Exopharm’s patented LEAP technology to advance large-scale therapeutic exosome production and commercialization. BIA claims its CIM monolith chromatography columns allow high-throughput, resolution separation, and capacity. Furthermore, the firm says it has…

Healiva to speed regenerative skin therapy launch with B.Braun asset buy

The acquisition of B. Braun Medical AG Switzerland’s manufacturing assets will advance the launch of personalized skin regeneration therapy, EpiDex, says Healiva. Healiva, a firm that delivers medicine for individuals with chronic and acute wounds, has acquired pharmaceutical device company, B.Braun’s, manufacturing assets for an undisclosed fee. The acquisition includes a qualified cell bank, which Healiva says is vital for the GMP-compliant production of its first cell therapy product, EpiDex. According to Healiva, the acquisition of a qualified fibroblast cell…

RVAC and A*STAR partner to build mRNA capabilities in Singapore

RVAC Medicines and the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) will develop solutions to construct mRNA manufacturing and analytics capabilities in Singapore. RVAC, a messenger RNA (mRNA) technology platform firm headquartered in Singapore, will work with research and development (R&D) agency A*STAR to jointly establish a laboratory. The joint laboratory will be located at A*STAR’S Bioprocessing Technology Institute (BTI) in Singapore and will be used to advance a preclinical production platform, which will enable the generation of raw materials…

iBio to divest CDMO biz and lose 60% of its workforce

iBio is looking to divest its CDMO services in order to transform into an antibody discovery and development firm. Artificial intelligence (AI) precision antibody firm iBio has said that it is seeking to divest its contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) so it can restructure into an antibody discovery and development company, which will result in 50% annualized cost savings. On the back of this transition, the firm hopes to invest in a pipeline of immune-oncology assets and an AI-based…

CSL Seqirus to access Arcturus’ sa-mRNA vax tech

Through the collaboration and license agreement, CSL Seqirus will access Arcturus Therapeutics’ late-stage self-amplifying mRNA (sa-mRNA) vaccine platform technology.  Arcturus will grant CSL Seqirus (part of CSL Limited) a license to its sa-mRNA technology in order to support the research, development, production, and commercialization of vaccines for SARS-CoV-2, as well as influenza, pandemic preparedness, and a further three global respiratory infectious diseases. “This collaboration on next generation mRNA is another example of CSL’s relentless pursuit of disruptive innovation when public…

Celltrion bulks out ADC ambition with Pinot tech deal

Korean drugmaker Celltrion has paid KRW 1 billion ($700,000) to access Pinot Bio’s antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) linker-payload technology. The PINOT-ADC platform, comprising of an independent drug and linker technology, overcomes the resistance limitations of existing ADC drugs, according to developer Pinot Bio. As such, fellow Korean firm Celltrion has tapped up the technology, forging a deal for up to 15 ADC candidates targeting solid tumor cancers using the platform. According to the Korea Biomedical Review, on top of the KRW…

Samsung Biologics wins $296m 10-year GSK contract

GSK has doubled down on its partnership with Samsung Biologics, inking a deal valued at 26.8% of the Korean CDMO’s 2021 revenues. Details of the contract, released in a regulatory filing today, show that Pharma Giant GlaxoSmithKline has entered into a contract with Samsung Biologics worth KRW 420,667,219,640 ($296 million) beginning October 11 2022 and ending December 31 2030. The deal represents 26.8% of the contract development and manufacturing organization’s (CDMO’s) full year 2021 revenues of KRW 1,568,006,928,039. GSK already…

Lilly $487m+ Akouos buy to add hearing loss gene therapy programs

Nearly two years after buying Prevail Therapeutics, Eli Lilly is doubling down on its gene therapy presence through the acquisition of Akouos. Eli Lilly will pay $12.50 a share for Boston, Massachusetts-based Akouos, equating to around $487 million. The Big Pharma firm could pay a further one contingent value right (CVR) of up to $3 per share, adding another $123 million to the deal. Akouos is developing gene therapies to address hearing loss conditions, with its lead candidate AK-OTOF set…

Inceptor and Avectas team to improve CAR-T manufacturing

The collaboration between Inceptor Bio and Avectas will aim to improve the development and production of CAR-T cell therapies for the treatment of solid tumors. Financial details and length of the partnership remain under wraps. However, under the terms of the agreement, Inceptor will use Avectas’ Solupore technology as a substitute to electroporation for engineering T cells with the aim to produce an improved T cell product. In April 2021, Avectas received $8.7 million in funding to develop the cell…