Deal-Making

Oxford Genetics: CRISPR patent war casts shadow over use in cell line development

CRISPR engineered mammalian cell lines are more cost effective than other gene editing platforms says Oxford Genetics, but adopting such tech is perceived a risk due to ongoing patent issues. Oxford, UK-based synthetic biology firm Oxford Genetics has inked a multi-billion-dollar deal with an undisclosed ecommerce provider of reagents and tools for its high throughput automated genomic engineering platform for CRISPR modification of mammalian cell lines. While details are undisclosed, the deal shows how the firm has harnessed the gene-editing…

Astellas paying $110m for UK-based gene therapy firm

The acquisition of Quethera accelerates Astellas Pharma’s entry into the ophthalmic gene therapy space, the firm says. Japanese drugmaker Astellas has bought Cambridge, UK-based preclinical biotech for as much as £85 million (US$110 million) and will take over development of its lead candidate, a proposed gene therapy for the treatment of refractory glaucoma through an intraocular pressure (IOP)-independent mechanism. “This acquisition demonstrates Astellas’ commitment to proactively incorporate state-of-the-art scientific and technological advances and turn them into value for patients,” a…

YMC M&A: Lewa addition brings bioprocess tech and US market

Japanese separations resins firm YMC will buy the bioprocessing business of Lewa-Nikkiso America. The “friendly acquisition” includes a facility in Devens, Massachusetts. Privately-held Kyoto, Tokyo-based YMC will add a number of bioprocessing technologies through the acquisition, including staff and assets dedicated to the development, manufacture and sales of batch and continuous chromatography equipment, and buffer dilution systems for the biopharmaceutical market. Financial details have not been divulged. Gerard Gach, chief marketing officer at Lewa- Nikkiso America, told BioProcess Insider Lewa’s…

Samsung Bioepis: From biosimilars to novel biologics

Following success with several biosimilars, bringing a novel biologic into the clinic is the “next logical step” in becoming a fully integrated biopharma firm, says Samsung Bioepis. Almost a year to the date it announced a co-development agreement, Samsung Bioepis and Takeda Pharmaceuticals are preparing to begin a Phase I trial for its lead candidate, SB26, also known as TAK-671. The news signals the latest stage in the development of Samsung Bioepis – a joint venture between South Korean contract…

MilliporeSigma partners Innocore for sustained release tech

MilliporeSigma will offer customers access to a sustained release formulation platform for large molecule APIs through a partnership with Innocore. The bioprocessing equipment and tools subsidiary of Germany’s Merck KGaA, MilliporeSigma, has inked an agreement to be the partner for the introduction of Innocure’s SynBiosys biodegradable platform to the global biopharma market. The platform can be used to develop sustained release solutions for biologicals in injectable formulations, something MilliporeSigma said is becoming increasingly important and competitively tempting for biopharmaceutical developers.…

Repligen riding high on Protein A strategic partnerships

Repligen says strategic partnerships are strengthening its proteins business, following a quarter which saw deals inked with Navigo Proteins and Purolite. For the second quarter 2018, bioprocessing tools and equipment supplier Repligen Corporation reported total revenues of US$48 million (€42 million), up 47% on the same period last year. The firm also reported sequential gains in its proteins franchise, where revenue increased nearly 10% over the first quarter. The segment includes its Protein A chromatography ligand and cell culture capture…

Regeneron teams up and takes $100m stake in bluebird bio

Regeneron has increased its interest in cellular therapies through a T cell co-development partnership with bluebird bio. The deal sees Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and bluebird bio combine their respective tech platforms to discover, develop and commercialize an initial six candidates against tumor-specific proteins and peptides, including chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T and other T cell receptors (TCRs). As part of the collaboration, Regeneron has invested $100 million (€87 million) in its new partner bluebird, buying 420,000 shares at a price of…

Esco Aster to transfer CAR-T tech to Chinese biomanufacturing plant

The Singapore-based CDMO will fit out Wuhan Bio-Raid Biotechnology’s facility in China with its lentiviral vector platform and bioproduction technologies. Esco Aster has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to use its lentiviral vector platform and bioproduction technologies to support Wuhan Bio-Raid’s chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy pipeline in China. “Under the MoU, both parties have achieved a broad understanding to increase the speed of CAR-T development in China,” Esco Aster spokesperson Ai San Yip told BioProcess Insider. This…

BioTime spinning out regenerative med firm AgeX

BioTime has received US$43 million (€37 million) from Juvenescence for a stake in AgeX and plans to spin the cell therapy subsidiary out in September. In April 2017, Californian late-stage biotech BioTime formed the subsidiary AgeX therapeutics to focus on its human aging candidates derived from regenerative stem cells. Earlier this year, fellow aging-focused firm Juvenescence made a $5 million investment in the subsidiary, and this week has upped its stake by 14.4 million shares paying BioTime $21.6 million in…

Sangamo Bets on CAR-Treg Through $84m TxCell Acquisition

CAR-Treg is the next biology of interest for gene-modified cellular therapies says TxCell, which is set to be acquired by Sangamo Therapeutics. Sangamo Therapeutics has agreed to buy French biotech TxCell for approximately €72 million (US$84 million), bolstering its pipeline with cellular immunotherapies based on regulatory T lymphocytes, or Tregs. The acquisition will help bring candidates, including TX200 for transplant rejection, through the clinic and towards commercialization, TxCell’s CEO Stephane Boissel told Bioprocess Insider. “We did not want to start…