Facilities & Capacity

Halix completes Dutch viral and protein product plant

Operations at the facility will begin later this year to feed the demand for proteins and viral vectors from small to midsize biotechs says CDMO Halix. Construction on the 6,700 m2 plant began a year ago and this month the contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) announced it is ready to produce biopharmaceutical drug substances. The facility, located in the Leiden Bio Science Park, The Netherlands, boasts a viral vaccine and viral vector manufacturing line along with a separate a separate…

Pfizer pumps $500m into NC gene therapy site

The expansion in North Carolina will create 300 jobs and is the latest investment by Pfizer in its burgeoning gene therapy network. The $500 million (€450 million) investment in Sanford, North Carolina will see the Big Pharma firm construct a facility to support production of its recombinant adeno-associated virus (rAAV) vectors for use in its gene therapies and vaccines. Mike McDermott, president of Pfizer Global Supply, said the Sanford expansion will “strengthen Pfizer’s leadership in gene therapy manufacturing technology” and…

Commercial N-1 perfusion carried out by Samsung BioLogics

CDMO Samsung BioLogics has used an Alternating Tangential Flow (ATF) system to perform N-1 perfusion at its 180,000 L facility in South Korea. Contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) Samsung BioLogics opened its number 3 facility at its site in Songdo, Incheon last year, boasting 180,000 L of commercial stainless steel bioreactor capacity. This month, the firm has announced it has successfully carried out N-1 perfusion with an Alternating Tangential Flow (ATF) system at the 3,000 L scale to supply…

Evotec eyes US commercial biomanufacturing pod

Months after buying platform firm Just.Bio, Evotec says it is evaluating the construction of the first modular J.POD for commercial manufacturing later this year. In May, German R&D services firm Evotec launched itself into the large molecule space through the $90 million (€81 million) acquisition of Just.Bio. The deal added several platform technologies aimed at reducing the cost of goods for proteins, including a large molecule manufacturing design platform, known as J.DESIGN and JP3, a lab and computational tool for…

Orchard to open CA plant in 2021 to support gene therapy pipeline

Orchard Therapeutics says it will balance its existing CMO network with a planned facility in Fremont to create the infrastructure needed to commercialize its gene therapies. Orchard’s pipeline of ex vivo autologous gene therapies include the former GSK hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) gene therapy Strimvelis – approved by the EMA in 2016 – and five clinical stage programs. The firm has been reliant on its network of contract manufacturing organizations (CMOs) to produce these therapies, but late last year it announced it…

CMOs to continue picking up Big Pharma non-core facilities

Recent facility acquisitions by Lonza and Catalent show Big Pharma is divesting its non-core assets in a trend that is set to continue, according to PharmSource. In the previous couple of months, contract manufacturing organizations (CMOs) Lonza and Catalent have both increased their production networks through facility acquisitions. Lonza’s expansion incorporates a sterile, multi-product drug product facility in Stein, Switzerland, acquired from fellow Swiss firm Novartis. Catalent, two weeks prior, added its first biologics plant outside the US through a…

Bio-Techne: $50m reagent plant will support cell & gene therapies

Plans for a $50 million GMP reagent facility in Minnesota are materializing at Bio-Techne as it looks to support the burgeoning cell & gene therapy sector. In its third quarter FY2019 financial call, life sciences services and consumables firm Bio-Techne spoke of intentions to build a $40 million (€36 million) GMP facility in Minneapolis, Minnesota to produce reagent proteins for use in cell and gene therapy applications. Three months on, the firm has said plans are now laid to invest…

Samsung BioLogics to make third UCB drug substance

CDMO Samsung BioLogics will make a minimum of $70 million worth of three products for UCB from its facilities in South Korea. A spokesperson from Samsung BioLogics told this publication the extended deal with Belgium-headquarters pharma firm UCB means a third drug substance will be made by the contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) from its site in Songdo, Incheon. The two companies entered into a master services agreement in July 2018. The latest product to be made by Samsung…

Novo Nordisk to convert Purdue NC plant to make oral diabetes drug

Novo Nordisk will rebuild a facility in Treyburn, North Carolina acquired from Purdue Pharma to support an oral form of its GLP-1 analogue semaglutide. In an email sent to staff and posted on cafepharma.com, Craig Landau – CEO of OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma – said an evaluation of his firm’s manufacturing operations and capabilities has resulted in the sale of its Treyburn solid oral dose plant to Danish drugmaker Novo Nordisk. Financial details of the deal have not been divulged,…

Shingrix a ‘standout’ in GSK’s vaccine strong Q2

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has described its shingles vaccine Shingrix as a driving force in its Q2 sales results. The firm is expanding capacity to keep up with demand. For the second quarter 2019, group sales stood at £7.8 billion ($9.8 billion), up 7% year-on-year. GSK saw a 1% decline to £4.3 billion in its pharmaceuticals division but was boosted by strong performances in vaccines and consumer. Management attributed vaccine sales of £1.6 billion – up 23% on the same period last…