Deal-Making

Biosimilar round-up: Deal-breaking, approvals, and patents

Mundipharma acquires Cinfa; Sandoz resolves dispute with AbbVie; FDA favours Celltrion and Teva’s rituximab. Welcome to the heady world of biosimilars. First up is an acquisition in the biosimilars space, with Cambridge, UK-based Mundipharma bolstering its portfolio through the purchase of Spanish drugmaker Cinfa Biotech. Financial have not been divulged, but Mundipharma gains immediate access to Pelmeg, a biosimilar which is looking to take a slice of the global $4.5 billion pegfilgrastim market. Pelmeg received recommendation for approval on September…

Turning over a new Leaf? Plant-based expression as a disruptor

Plant-based protein expression offers high yields and easy harvesting but has been held back by a lack of funding and the ubiquity of mammalian and bacterial systems, says Leaf Expression Systems. UK-based contract biopharmaceutical development firm Leaf Expression Systems has appointed Simon Saxby, a former executive at contract manufacturing organizations (CMOs) Recipharm and Cobra, as its CEO. Leaf Expression Systems offers the production of proteins, antibodies and vaccines through its Hypertrans expression system, based on tobacco plants. Saxby’s immediate focus…

Want investment and innovation? Call yourself a ‘biopharma’ firm

With consistent year-on-year growth of around 12%, biopharma is the ‘favored child’ of the drug industry, says BioPlan Associates’ Eric Langer. At the first BIOLive event at CPhI Worldwide in Madrid this week, Eric Langer, president and managing partner at BioPlan Associates, told delegates innovation and sales revenue have driven the divide between the biopharma (large molecule) and the traditional small molecule pharma industries. “Today’s market is around $250 billion in biopharma sales, and this is still an emerging market…

4D bioprinting and stem cells: Firms look to alternatives to animal testing

Servier will use 4D bioprinting technology to imitate human liver tissue in vitro, while STEMCELL Technologies is commercializing human pluripotent stem cell-derived kidney organoids. But can these models replace animal testing in preclinical research? French drugmaker Servier has (bio)inked a deal with Poietis to use its 4D bioprinting technology for the development and production of liver tissues. The tissue will be used to imitate human liver tissue in vitro in Servier’s preclinical testing. Poietis’ technology works through the “layer-by-layer additive…

Double deal with Asterias gives Novo Nordisk CA stem cell plant

Novo Nordisk will pay Asterias $2 million to lease a facility in Fremont, California for the supply of stem cell-based therapies. An manufacturing tech licensing deal is also an option. Danish drugmaker Novo Nordisk intends to set up manufacturing capabilities for its clinical phase stem cell therapies for type 1 diabetes and other chronic diseases from 2019 onwards after subleasing the plant in California from Asterias Biotherapeutics. The 44,000 square feet current good manufacturing practices (cGMP) facility is used as…

Pandion selects Just to cut cost of bispecific Ab development

Just Biotherapeutics says smart design and optimization of the molecule and the manufacturing process will speed the development of Pandion Therapeutics’s lead bispecific antibody PT101. Just Biotherapeutics has entered into a master services agreement for the development and clinical manufacturing of Pandion Therapeutics’ lead candidate. Pandion is a biotech located in Cambridge, Massachusetts developing bispecific antibodies for the tissue-specific treatment of patients with autoimmune and inflammatory diseases and organ transplants. The firm completed a $58 million (€50 million) Series A…

Emergent extends ABEC disposable deal to equip Maryland plant

Emergent BioSolutions has extended its partnership with vendor ABEC and added a dual purpose single-use system at its site in Baltimore, Maryland. ABEC has shipped a custom designed CSR (Custom Single Run) dual purpose single-use system to Emergent’s Bayview facility, intended for large scale microbial fermentation and mammalian cell culture. “A CSR dual purpose system can operate as a 750 L production microbial fermenter or as a 500L seed bioreactor for Emergent’s 4,000 L CSR bioreactor,” ABEC spokesperson Susan Cooper-Curcio…

Alexion refilling pipeline through potential $1.2bn Syntimmune buy

The acquisition of early-phase biotech Syntimmune is “part and parcel” to Alexion Pharmaceuticals’ plan to build up its pipeline, says the firm’s CFO. Alexion Pharmaceuticals has entered into an agreement to buy Syntimmune for an upfront payment of $400 million (€342 million), though milestone payments could see the firm shell out a further $800 million. The deal brings Alexion SYNT001, a humanized monoclonal antibody candidate that inhibits the interaction of FcRn with Immunoglobulin G (IgG) and IgG immune complexes. The…

Three-way collaboration looks to scalable purification for AAV

The UK’s Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) will work with CDMO Cobra Biologics and vendor GE Healthcare to reduce the cost of making adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors. Funded by a £570,000 ($750,000) grant from Innovate UK, the three-way consortium is looking to increase the robustness and reduce costs for the manufacturing of adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors to feed the growing gene therapy space. The collaboration will see each player contribute its expertise. GE Healthcare’s Puridify fibre-based chromatography technology platform will…

Gene editing deal leaves Thermo Fisher ‘unique in offering TALENs and CRISPR’

Thermo Fisher Scientific has increased its gene editing technology offering by licensing CRISPR/Cas9 technologies from the Broad Institute and ERS Genomics. Thermo Fisher will now be able to offer its biopharma customers several genome editing offerings through the in-license deals. “Genome editing has unlocked the door for researchers to begin understanding gene function, which is fundamental in unraveling and outlining basic biological processes and disease pathways,” said Helge Bastian, vice president and general manager of Synthetic Biology at Thermo Fisher…