Deal-Making

Sanofi Inks $850m mRNA Vaccines Deal with Translate Bio

Sanofi Pasteur has teamed with Translate Bio to develop messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines for up to five infectious disease pathogens. Under terms of the deal, French vaccine developer Sanofi Pasteur will make an upfront sum of US$45 million (€38 million) to Massachusetts-based firm Translate Bio but total payments could reach $850 million on the back of developmental milestones and royalties. The R&D for the undisclosed vaccine targets will be jointly conducted during an initial three-year period. mRNA vaccines work by…

Automated Tech Ups Hitachi’s Cell Therapy Interest

Recent entrant to the regenerative medicine space Hitachi Chemical has partnered with Invetech to commercialize the Counter-Flow Centrifugation system – an automated platform for cell therapy manufacturing. The partnership will allow customers of Hitachi Chemical Advanced Therapeutics Solutions (HCATS) to access Invetech’s Counter-Flow Centrifugation (CFC) system in the clinical and commercial manufacturing of cell-based therapies using closed single-use disposables. Hitachi entered the regenerative medicine space in 2017 through the $US75 million (€64 million) acquisition of cell therapy contract development and…

Longstanding Bio Partner Celltrion Launches Full CDMO Unit

The Korean firm, which boasts Teva and Pfizer as partners, has consolidated its third-party services to offer a full CDMO platform. Celltrion announced at BIO in Boston last week it is launching a “Bio CDMO” (contract development and manufacturing) business. According to the South Korean biologics maker, the service consolidates its current third-party offerings, combining cell line development and production process, with clinical and commercial biomanufacturing. Spokesperson Gunhyuk Lee told BioProcess Insider: “You could consider this CDMO business as a…

Media Control: Fujifilm Buys Irvine Scientific for $800m

The acquisition of cell culture media firm Irvine Scientific complements Fujifilm’s bioprocessing business and helps ensure supply chain control, the company told us at BIO. Fujifilm Corporation has completed the acquisition of Irvine Scientific (ISUS) and IS Japan (ISJ) for US$800 million (€680 million) from fellow Japanese-headquartered firm JXTG Nippon Oil & Energy Corporation. The deal, first announced in March, brings Fujifilm an increased presence in the life sciences service industry, adding a range of media for industrial cell culture,…

Changing Regulations and ‘Sea Turtles’ Drive China Biotech Boom

Backed by US$260 million, Brii BioSciences is the latest firm benefiting from regulatory and economic changes in China. Insider spoke with expert David Deere to discover why the Chinese market is finally opening up. Funded by a group of six venture capitalists firms, Brii Bio is the latest, and one of the largest, examples of the surge of investment and innovation in Chinese biotech. “Brii Bio aims to accelerate the development and delivery of breakthrough medicines in China through partnerships,…

TxCell Opts for Lonza to Make CAR-Treg Clinical Batches

Lacking the resources to manufacture in-house, French biotech firm TxCell has chosen Lonza to produce its HLA-A2 CAR-Treg cellular product, TX200. In February, TxCell finalized its manufacturing process to make Tx200, and began transferring tech to its contract manufacturing organization (CMO). Now the French biotech has revealed the CMO is Lonza, which will manufacture clinical batches of the CAR-Treg product from its production site in Geleen, the Netherlands. TxCell CEO Stephane Boissel told Bioprocess Insider Lonza will produce Phase I/II…

‘There is No Life Sciences Equivalent of Apple,’ Horizon Discovery’s New CEO

Horizon Discovery’s new CEO Terry Pizzie says the rate of technology evolution is greater than at any other time in his illustrious career as he reflects on the state of the bioprocessing services industry. Terry Pizzie joined Horizon Discovery Group in 2017 as head of commercial operations, but in May this year he was appointed to the top job. Pizzie has worked in life sciences for close to 30 years and spoke with BioProcess Insider about the changes he has…

Gilead Flies a Kite for ZFN Gene Editing Tech Over CRISPR

Gilead’s CSO spoke about its choice of zinc finger nuclease (ZFN) for ex-vivo gene editing at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Healthcare Conference. In February, Kite Pharma – acquired by Gilead Sciences for US$11.9 billion in last August – struck a deal to use Sangamo Therapeutic’s ZFN technology to modify genes in the development of its autologous and allogeneic cell therapies. Kite/Gilead paid $150 million up front to the fellow Californian firm but Sangamo could be entitled to a…

Novartis Building $55m gene therapy plant, Creating 200 Jobs in NC

A week after buying AveXis, Novartis has announced plans to build a gene therapy manufacturing facility in Durham, North Carolina. On May 15, Swiss Biopharma Novartis confirmed the completion of the US$8.7 billion (€7.4 billion) acquisition of clinical stage gene therapy firm AveXis. A week later, Novartis has unveiled plans for a $55 million gene therapy production plant in Durham, North Carolina to support AveXis’ gene therapy pipeline targeting rare neurological genetic diseases. AveXis’ lead candidate AVXS-101, in development for…

Biogen Paying $650m to Up Stake in Samsung Bioepis

Biogen has opted to increase its control in biosimilar venture Samsung Bioepis to 49.5%, according to partner Samsung BioLogics. Biogen sent South Korean biomanufacturer Samsung BioLogics a letter last week declaring its intention to increase its stake in the firms’ joint venture Samsung Bioepis from 5.4% to 49.5%. According to Samsung BioLogics, Biogen will pay around 700 billion Won (US$650 million) for an additional 44.6% stake in the JV, with the deal expected to take two to three months to…