Facilities & Capacity

64x Bio bags $55m in funding to drive cell production tech

64x Bio has received $55 million in a series A round of fundraising to fund the expansion of its VectorSelect platform. According to 64x Bio, a synthetic cell and gene therapy (CGT) manufacturer founded in 2020 and focused on addressing CGT manufacturing issues exposed by the Coronavirus pandemic, its cell line engineering technology, VectorSector has the potential to revolutionize the economics and accessibility of gene therapy. Led by Lifeforce Capital, with contribution from Northpond Ventures, Future Ventures and others ,…

Excellos: ‘There is no better time to enter cell therapy CDMO space’

With the San Diego Blood Bank at its foundation and $15 million of funding in hand, Excellos launches itself in the cell therapy contract manufacturing sector.  A new contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) has arisen in San Diego, California this week: Excellos Incorporated, which officially launched on the back of $15 million in growth funding from Telegraph Hill Partners (THP).  The new entity — announced during Phacilitate’s Advanced Therapies Week conference in Miami, Florida — already has an operational cGMP manufacturing facility for Advanced Therapies but according to CEO…

Orgenesis and Johns Hopkins University to build CGT Maryland Center

Orgenesis and Johns Hopkins University will build a cell and gene therapy processing facility in Maryland, US for point of care treatment. The 7,000 square-foot POCare Center, also known as the Maryland Center for Cell Therapy Manufacturing, has been partly funded by a $5 million grant from the State of Maryland with building expected to start in Q2 2022 and the facility anticipated to be operational by Q2 2023. “Orgenesis is a pioneer of decentralized processing and production of CGTs,…

Samsung Bio buoyed by COVID, citing mRNA and mAbs as drivers

Samsung Biologics says COVID-19 related demand drove growth in 2021 and predicts mRNA business will be key this year.  The Korean contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) saw revenue of KRW444.3 billion ($328 million) in the fourth quarter of 2021, up 18% on the comparable period in 2020.   Profits increase 39% to KRW128.8 billion. For the full year revenue and operating profit grew 35% and 84%, respectively.  Samsung also said its fourth quarter operating margin jumped 29% due to increased utilization across all…

In brief: Vetter opens clinical filling site in Austria

Vetter has received manufacturing authorization for a fill and finish site Austria, which the CDMO acquired in 2020. Contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) Vetter bought the clinical production site in Rankweil, on the Austrian border with Switzerland and Liechenstein, from Impletio – part of Rentschler, with which Vetter inked an alliance in July 2020. The firm has been working to modify and equip all laboratory, technical and production areas at the 10,000 square-meter facility and has announced this week…

Novo Nordisk Foundation invests $343m to build stem-cell research center

Novo Nordisk Foundation will invest up to $343 million over a ten-year period to establish an international research center focused on stem cell medicine. The center is a partnership entitled reNEW between the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, Australia, and Leiden University Medical Center, The Netherlands. The aim of the collaboration is to drive future stem cell-based treatments. The governing hub will be based at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen and Melissa…

2022 begins with proliferation of advanced therapy CDMO investments

The Center for Breakthrough Medicines receives $350 million, Forge Biologics closes $80 million in additional funding, Piramal invests in Yapan, and GHO Capital invests in RoslinCT. Welcome to our CGT CDMO round-up. Eagle-eyed readers will remember South Korean investment firm SK Inc pledged to invest in Pennsylvania-based company the Center for Breakthrough Medicines (CBM) back in November. Now the cell and gene contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) has revealed SK’s involvement includes $350 million in equity financing aimed at…

Lithuania’s talent pool ‘ready and waiting’ to service biopharma needs, says development agency

Biopharma companies around the world have reported concerns regarding talent shortages across the industry, but Invest Lithuania says it has a large talent pool ready and waiting. There is a general consensus among professionals that the amount of talent coming through is not reflective of the huge investment in capacity being seen across the Life Sciences industry. Companies such as Lonza, SwedenBIO, and pharma recruitment firm Lead Candidate have expressed their talent shortage concerns at different points last year. However,…

New year, new gene therapy plants from Pfizer and Expression

Christmas came early for Pfizer and Expression Therapeutics, which cut the ribbons on viral vector manufacturing plants in North Carolina and Ohio, respectively. Pfizer’s gene therapy division celebrated the new year with an expanded manufacturing footprint, having opened the first of three facilities at its site in Durham, North Carolina on December 15. The 85,500 square-foot plant will support clinical manufacturing of Pfizer’s gene therapy pipeline and represents an investment of $68.5 million by the firm. The facility will create…

WHP Engineering: The key things to consider when planning a facility

Ian Lichfield, CEO of WHP Engineering figuratively sat down with BioProcess Insider to discuss the key things to consider when planning a facility and how the business will adapt to suspected future changes. WHP Engineering is located in Newcastle, UK and describes itself on LinkedIn as a “multi-disciplined, engineering company dedicated to providing both standalone and turnkey solutions for highly-regulated, controlled environments and complex manufacturing processes across Europe.” The firm works with a wide range of customers in the life…