Facilities & Capacity

OriCell plans CAR-T plant after $120m funding boost

OriCell Therapeutics has closed a $120 million Series B financing set to support its cell therapy and bispecific immunotherapy pipeline. The Shanghai, China-based company also plans to build a clinical/commercial manufacturing plant, though the location or further details are yet to be revealed. OriCell has two chimeri antigen receptor (CAR) T candidates that are close to clinical stage, one for advanced liver cancer and the other for multiple myeloma. It is also developing a PD-L/4-1BB bispecific antibody that it partnered…

Plasmid production a plus for Polyplus

Polyplus has added transgene plasmid engineering services for viral vector manufacturing, which it says allows customers to get their gene therapies to market quicker. The French biotech claims that since acquiring DNA design and production services firm e-Zyvec in February, it has focused on providing more advanced levels of solutions to support its client base. By using e-Zyvec’s technology “the plasmids are assembled de novo, from a library of DNA bricks, removing the use of standard plasmid backbones that contain…

Thermo Fisher shells out $76m to expand NY cell culture media site

The $76 million investment will increase the cell culture media manufacturing site in Grand Island, New York, which Thermo says is critical to produce vaccines and biologic therapies. The $76 million funding is part of a long-term $650 million investment the firm announced last March and Thermo Fisher Scientific said it aims to meet global demand for cell culture media by expanding its dry powder media manufacturing plant in Grand Island. “Our expanded Grand Island site represents a significant milestone in…

Core Biogenesis bags $10.5m funding to drive plant-based bioproduction

Core Biogenesis has completed a $10.5 million Series A funding round, which will be used to build a plant-based bioproduction facility. The site will be located in Strasbourg, France and the firm said it will be dedicated to manufacturing growth factors and cytokines for the cell therapy space and cellular agricultural industry and will launch early next year. The firm claims it has developed a technology platform that can express recombinant proteins from the seeds of a Camelina sativa oilseed…

Cytiva opens Vancouver robotic aseptic filling site

The site located in the greater Vancouver area will expand manufacturing capacity of aseptic filling machines by over 200%, says Cytiva. The 126,200 square-foot site is situated next to Fraser River in Burnaby, which is less than twenty minutes from Vancouver International Airport, and one hour away from the US border. Work is still ongoing at the existing production site, which the firm acquired from Vanrx Pharmasystems in February 2021, but the firm said a larger space was needed due…

Lonza H1: Biologics biz boosted by $130m Allakos cancellation fee

Capacity cancellations are both common and ‘integral’ in the CDMO space says Lonza, as it reports a $130 million termination fee as a one-time item in its first half 2022 financials. For the first half 2022, contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) Lonza reported sales within its biologics division of CHF 1.63 billion ($1.68 billion), up 26% on the year prior. The company attributed this to sustained demand across end markets, supported by capacity expansions ramp-ups, but the period was…

Pfizer forks out $470m to expand Pearl River vaccine plant

Pfizer is set to expand its vaccine research facilities in Pearl River, New York to keep ahead of the game in the mRNA space. Bloomberg reported that Pfizer will invest $470 million to construct a building and renovate existing facilities located on its campus in Pearl River, which is 25 miles northwest of New York. A spokesperson confirmed this to BioProcess Insider, adding the plant will focus on the firm’s messenger RNA (mRNA) portfolio. Pfizer anticipates completing the Pearl River…

Samsung’s speed key to rapid growth of biologics CDMO, says CEO

As Samsung Biologics secures land to potentially build four more biomanufacturing plants, CEO John Rim claims the CDMO can design, construct and validate a facility “probably 40% faster” than others. In 2017, I spoke with TH Kim, the founder and then CEO of Samsung Biologics, who told me his plans to grow the contract development and manufacturing organization’s (CDMO) presence through a third facility at its site in Songdo, Korea to feed the continued demand for third-party biomanufacturing. Five years…

With €300m in hand, Normax looks to slash mRNA costs

Through modular decentralized facilities and a socially-responsible financial model, Normax says it can produce and sell mRNA vaccines at a cost of $4 per dose – a fraction of current prices. Though in its infancy, Ireland-based Normax has set-up its own mRNA UCV Consortium and developed an mRNA vaccine platform and is now looking to grow out a global manufacturing network. The company, which is looking to operate on the industry standard contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) business model,…

WuXi Biologics commits $1.4bn to Singapore manufacturing capabilities

WuXi Biologics will invest $1.4 billion as part of a 10-year plan to expand the company’s manufacturing capabilities in Singapore through the construction of a CDMO center. Contract development manufacturing organization (CDMO) WuXi Biologics first entered Singapore in 2018 with a $60 million clinical and commercial biologics manufacturing site expected to come online this year. Now, the firm plans to expand its research, development, and large-scale drug substance and drug product manufacturing capabilities in Singapore through a $1.4 billion investment…