Deal-Making

Inovio contracts Kaneka for plasmid DNA COVID vaccine

Inovio has partnered with plasmid manufacturer Kaneka Eurogentec to support the production of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate, INO-4800. Kaneka Eurogentec, an affiliate of Kaneka Corporation, will join Inovio’s growing network of contract development and manufacturing organizations (CDMOs) to support INO-4800, a COVID-19 plasmid DNA-based vaccine, set to move into a Phase II/III clinical trial. The biotech has not disclosed the terms of agreement. However, Inovio’s CEO, Joseph Kim, said that “Kaneka Eurogentec will be a crucial member of Inovio’s global manufacturing…

Eli Lilly $880m Prevail buy a ‘good entry point’ into gene therapy

As Eli Lilly agrees to buy Prevail Therapeutics adding a pipeline of neuroscience assets, CEO Dave Ricks hints at further acquisitions in the gene therapy space. The deal announced yesterday will see Eli Lilly pay approximately $880 million upfront for New York-based Prevail Therapeutics, with a further $160 million set to be paid upon the first approval of a product. Prevail, launched in 2017, is developing gene therapies to slow or stop the underlying disease process for patients with neurodegenerative…

AstraZeneca’s $39bn Alexion buy will add meds and manufacturing capacity

AstraZeneca says buying Alexion will generate saving of $500m a year thanks to manufacturing and commercial synergies. AstraZeneca announced it would buy Alexion for a total consideration of $39 billion at the weekend, citing the latter’s capabilities in immunology as the primary driver for the deal. Coverage has focused on products Alexion will add to AstraZeneca’s pipeline with the monoclonal antibody-based blood disorder treatments Soliris (Eculizumab) and Ultomiris (ravulizumab) being the obvious examples. In its Q3 call Alexion said it…

Boehringer Ingelheim re-enters ADC space with $1.4bn NBE buy

Having already dabbled in the antibody-drug conjugate (ADC), Boehringer Ingelheim has gone full in, acquiring NBE-Therapeutics for €1.18 billion ($1.4 billion). The deal sees German biopharma firm Boehringer Ingelheim agree to buy private Swiss biotech NBE-Therapeutics, adding an ADC technology platform and a lead compound NBE-002 in Phase I clinical studies for triple negative breast cancer and other solid tumors. When the deal closes – expected in Q1 2021 – “NBE Therapeutics with its team of highly qualified scientists will…

Fareva enhancer: CureVac to use CDMO for COVID vaccine fill/finish

Messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine developer CureVac has contracted CDMO Fareva for the fill and finish of COVID-19 vaccine candidate. Under terms of the deal – financials of which have not been disclosed – contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) Fareva will provide fill and finish capabilities for CureVac’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate, CVnCoV, from facilities in Val-de-Reuil and Pau, both in France. “We are proud to contribute to the fill and finish manufacturing of this innovative vaccine candidate from CureVac,” said…

Sinovac raises $500m to fund Coronavac trials and production

Sinovac Biotech has secured financing of $500m to fund further development of its candidate COVID-19 vaccine. The funding – which gives investor Sino Biopharma a 15% stake in the Beijing biotech – will be used to support clinical development of Coronavac, a vaccine that uses inactivated forms of COVID-19 to induce immune responses. Sinovac is conducting large-scale clinical trials of the vaccine in Brazil – the study was suspended in October before resuming last month – and Indonesia. In November…

BioLife invests in viral vector and freeze media tech firms

BioLife Solutions has made investments in iVexSol and PanTHERA CryoSolutions, increasing its scope in the cell and gene therapy space. Life science tools firm BioLife Solutions and its partner Casdin Capital have invested a total of $4 million in iVexSol, as part of a $15.2 million Series A financing round, and $2 million in PanTHERA CryoSolution. iVexSol is a Massachusetts firm focused on developing its lentiviral vector (LVV) manufacturing technology platform. The startup claims the platform can produce LVVs at…

Atbtherapeutics secures plant-based production of targeted antibodies

Atbtherapeutics has struck a deal with CDMO iBio for the manufacture and scale-up of its ‘atbody’ candidates using its plant-based expressions system. The deal, financials of which have not been divulged, will see contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) iBio work with atbtherapeutics to industrialize the GMP manufacturing process for atbtherapeutics’ atbodies. ‘atbodies’ are a novel class of biologics developed by Belgium-based biotech atbtherapeutics. They are composed of full-length antibodies, peptide linkers, and toxic peptide payloads, much like an antibody-drug…

Lonza building dedicated conjugation suites for ADC client

The two dedicated suites in Visp, Switzerland will support commercialized antibody-drug candidates (ADCs) products for an undisclosed biopharma customer. Contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) Lonza has announced 1500 m2 of active manufacturing space will be dedicated to the biopharma customer, in addition to established quality control (QC) labs, logistics and other central services, to Charles Christy, head of Commercial Solutions Ibex Dedicate, Lonza, told us the customer has asked for confidentiality and so details are scarce, but the firm…

Mustang expands ‘bubble boy’ gene therapy footprint with European CDMO

Mustang Bio has established a European manufacturing base for its lentiviral gene therapy candidate MB-107 through a deal with cell and gene therapy CDMO Minaris. Developed with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, MB-107 is Mustang Bio’s lentiviral gene therapy for the treatment of X-linked severe combined immunodeficiency (XSCID), also known as bubble boy disease. The candidate, which received US FDA Orphan Drug Designation in September, is manufactured from a facility in Worcester, Massachusetts but the firm is now looking outside…