Deal-Making

Merck buying Seagen would make strategic sense, says analyst

Merck & Co. is eying up the acquisition of antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) Seagen, according to media reports. The Wall Street Journal reported late last week that Merck has been in talks regarding a potential acquisition of Seattle, Washington-headquartered Seagen for a while, though a deal is not expected to be imminent. However, such a deal “could make sense strategically,” according to SVB Securities analyst Andrew Berens. “We believe that there are synergies in the Seagen portfolio (three commercial assets and…

MilliporeSigma and Agilent aim to extend PAT to real-time release

Merck Life Science (AKA MilliporeSigma) and Agilent Technologies have teamed up to develop process analytical technologies (PAT), citing growing drug industry demand for systems that support real-time release. The collaboration will combine the German drug maker known as MilliporeSigma in North America and the Life Science business of Merck KGaA elsewhere bioprocessing technologies with Agilent’s analytical systems to extend “real-time monitoring and automated process control of critical process parameters (CPPs) and critical quality attributes (CQAs) to downstream processing” the firms…

Univercells partners with CBET to prep students for CGT space

The partnership will see Univercells Technologies provide support to prepare Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (ACPHS) students for careers in cell and gene therapy. APHS’ Stack Family Center for Biopharmaceutical Education and Training (CBET) provides research and training solutions for the biopharmaceutical manufacturing space and is Univercells first US-based training partner. Under the terms of the deal, of which financial details have not been divulged, Belgian-based firm Univercells is set to give on-site access and training on cutting…

Charles River and ASC partner to manufacture gene therapy

Charles River Laboratories and ASC Therapeutics have partnered to manufacture ASC618, a second-generation gene therapy that aims to treat hemophilia A. The agreement builds upon the firm’s relationship initiated in 2019 where ASC collaborated with Charles River (previously operating as Vigene Bisosciences prior to the acquisition last May) to use the contract development manufacturing organization’s (CDMOs) processes for adeno-associated virus (AAV) production and purification. According to Charles River, together the firms have established a high-yield upstream process for AAV8 production,…

Curia and Replicate partner to create srRNA platform

Curia will collaborate on a development platform for Replicate Bioscience’s self-replicating RNA (srRNA) therapeutics. The collaboration sees contract development manufacturing organization (CDMO) Curia, formerly known as AMRI, and Replicate, a firm that focuses on developing ways to prevent drug resistance in cancer and to treat inflammatory and autoimmune disorders using srRNA unite to co-develop a platform. Under the terms of the collaboration, Curia’s process development team will support the production of Replicate’s srRNA vectors up to 8 L, which can…

Coave and ABL partner to develop gene therapy manufacturing processes

The two-stage collaboration will aim to drive development of high-capacity production processes for AAV-based products. Coave Therapeutics, a biotechnology firm focused on developing gene therapies for central nervous system (CNS) and eye diseases, aims to secure its process development capabilities and infrastructure needs through collaboration with contract development manufacturing organization (CDMO) ABL, which specializes in the manufacturing of viruses for vaccine candidates and gene and cancer therapies. “Coave has already developed a process at laboratory scale and has several patents.…

MigVax taps Catalent to deliver COVID-19 vaccine orally

MigVax has teamed with Catalent to develop its subunit COVID-19 vaccine MigVax-101 using the CDMO’s Zydis orally disintegrating tablet (ODT) technology. Israeli crowdfunded biotech MigVax has developed an oral vaccine against COVID-19 that uses a chimeric protein to generate three kinds of simultaneous immunological responses: mucosal, blood-based, and cell-mediated immunity. To overcome delivery issues, the firm has tapped contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) Catalent to undertake a feasibility study to formulate MigVax-101 using its Zydis Bio orally disintegrating tablet…

Resilience continues capacity march with further $625m of funding

National Resilience has raised $1.225 billion in financing over the past 10 months and intends to use it to further build out its biomanufacturing and R&D network. (National) Resilience launched in November 2019 through $800 million of capital with ambitions to provide “new, better, faster ways” to manufacture advanced therapies. Over the past two-and-a-half years, the firm has moved beyond cell and gene therapies and now offers manufacturing services across multiple modalities through a mushrooming production and R&D infrastructure. Through…

Bristol-Myers forks out $4.1bn to acquire Turning Point Therapeutics

Bristol-Myers Squibb will acquire oncology firm Turning Point Therapeutics for 4.1 billion and gains its lead asset, repotrectinib aiming to treat lung cancer and solid tumors. The merger agreement will see Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) pay $76.00 per share to acquire Turning Point Therapeutics (TPT) and the deal is expected to close during the third quarter of this year. As part of the deal, BMS will take on TPTs lead asset, repotrectinib, a next generation tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) targeting ROS1…

Regeneron to supply Elicio with Libtayo for combo cancer vaccine study

Regeneron has agreed to supply Elicio Therapeutics with the drug Libtayo for clinical trials of its candidate cancer vaccine, ELI-002. The trial will examine the products as a combination in patients with KRAS (Kirsten rat sarcoma virus)-driven tumors including stage III and IV non-small cell lung cancer, stage IV colorectal cancer and unresectable, locally advanced or oligometastatic pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. KRAS mutations are among the most prevalent human cancers, driving 32% of lung cancers, 40% of colorectal cancers and 85%…