Deal-Making

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 ÂŁ570,000 ($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…

Lonza targets both early and late-stage biotech in $415m Ibex expansion

CDMO Lonza has invested CHF 400 million in a site in Switzerland to expand its Ibex Solutions business, adding end-to-end services for biotech customers. Contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) Lonza has launched today Ibex Design and Ibex Develop, offering smaller biopharma companies complete product lifecycle management. The CHF 400 million ($415 million) expansion follows the launch of the Ibex Solutions service in July 2017, which saw the firm look to provide flexible production capacity for biotherapeutics through a biopark…

Eli Lilly on M&A: Balancing the science with the shareholders

Many early-phase acquisitions do not make sense for shareholders despite having promising assets, says Lilly’s CFO Joshua Smiley. About a third of Lilly’s pipeline comes from M&A. Speaking to attendees at the Morgan Stanley Healthcare Conference Broker Conference Call this month, Eli Lilly CFO Joshua Smiley said his firm is “interested in doing early stage clinical deals where we see compelling scientific rationale in our key therapeutic areas and that we can upgrade our pipeline.” But deals also need to…

Video news: Pall strategic deals aim to enable biosimilar and novel scale-up

Pall Corporation has inked separate partnerships with cell line and expression tech firms Celltheon and Aetos Biologics. The deals help enable both novel and biosimilar manufacturing, the firm says. At the 2018 BPI Conference in Boston, Massachusetts earlier this month, Pall Corporation announced it had entered into a strategic partnership with cell line and expression technology platform development company Celltheon Corporation.   The deal combines Pall’s bioprocessing equipment and consumables with Celltheon’s SMART Expression Platform to offer customers integrated systems…