Global Markets

Sanofi: ‘Combining biopharma and vaccines ups manufacturing efficiency

Sanofi has combined manufacturing and supply chains across its pharma and vaccine in efforts to increase flexibility. As of the start of the year, Sanofi has combined its pharmaceutical and vaccine businesses from both a financial reporting and operations standpoint into a Biopharma segment, the French Pharma Giant said on its end-of-year call. The segment will include specialty care, general medicine, and vaccines, but not Sanofi’s consumer healthcare business. “Our pipeline being now mainly biologics, and [with] our new manufacturing…

Amgen US Humira biosimilar arrives five months ahead of the pack

Amgen has launched Amjevita with a two-tier list price strategy offering the biosimilar at discounts of 55% and 5% over AbbVie’s Humira (adalimumab). After 20 years and over $200 billion of sales, AbbVie’s anti-TNF-α monoclonal antibody Humira is facing competition in the US with the launch of Amjevita. “Today, we announced the launch of Amjevita, the first US biosimilar to Humira, a medicine used by more than 1 million patients living with serious inflammatory diseases,” Amgen’s EVP of Global Commercial…

Lonza experiences CGT headwinds but hails pipeline for bounce back

Lonza says a slowdown in funding and clinical trial issues in 2022 led to slower cell and gene therapy (CGT) sales growth compared to 2021. Contract development manufacturing organization (CDMO) Lonza reported sales of 6.2 billion CHF ($6.7 billion) in Q4 2022, a 15.1% sales increase on 2021. Its biologics division sales grew by 21.7% compared to 2021 and the firm’s CGT business sales increased by 13.6%. Lonza’s chief financial officer (CFO) Philippe Deecke attributed the smaller sales growth of…

CDMO GenScript ProBio raises $224m

GenScript ProBio of Nanjing, a biologics CDMO with operations around the globe, has raised $224 million in a C round funding. ProBio offers end-to-end contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) services from drug discovery to commercialization for antibodies, cell and gene therapies. The company said it would use the capital to increase manufacturing capacity, advance its R&D offerings and acquire companies that add services. After the funding, GenScript Biotech, a gene synthesis company, will continue to own 70% of ProBio,…

Top 10 CGT markers 2022: Approvals aplenty but patient access remains limited

Big Pharma mobilization and a series of approval firsts dominated the seasonal cell and gene therapy review, but failures in patient access post-commercialization took the top spot. In what has become a highlight of Phacilitate’s Advanced Therapies Week, Susan Nichols, chief business officer at ViroCell Biologics, highlighted 10 events from 2022 that drove conversation, investment, and innovation in regenerative medicine. She told delegates in Miami, Florida the past 12 months saw “the highest of the highs” in the cell and…

Aton Bio: China pharma backed CDMO with a startup spirit

Aton Biotech hopes to make big waves in the bio-CDMO space by leveraging up to 144,000 L of bioreactor capacity from parent company Shanghai Henlius Biotech. Henlius operates two biomanufacturing in Shanghai with a total of 48,000 L of bioreactor capacity, along with fully integrated drug substance and drug product capabilities. The firm broke ground on a third 130,000 square meter facility last year, the first phase of which will incorporate 36,000 L of biomanufacturing capacity comprising of up to…

Amgen prepped to take first slice of AbbVie’s US Humira pie

Amgen is eyeing up a share of the $17+ billion US adalimumab market with the prospective launch of the first Humira biosimilar, Amjevita, later this month. In its trend report ‘Drugs to watch 2023,’ Clarivate highlights the impending loss of exclusivity of AbbVie’s bestselling drug Humira (adalimumab). The monoclonal antibody has clocked in sales of more than $200 billion for AbbVie (and previously Abbott) since its launch in 2003, with 2021 sales alone pulling in $20.1 billion in sales, $17.3 billion…

WuXi Bio signs $1.5bn TCE antibody pact with GSK

WuXi Biologics has out-licensed global rights for up to four preclinical bi- and multi-specific TCE antibodies to GSK in a $1.5 billion agreement. TCEs are antibody-based immunotherapies that redirect T cells to kill cancer cells. Initially, GSK will have the rights to a preclinical bispecific antibody that crosslinks tumor cells and T cells by targeting a tumor-associated antigen (TAA) on tumor cells and CD3 expression on T cells. GSK may exercise rights for up to three additional earlier-stage preclinical TCE antibodies.…

Patient access is political, say CGT experts

Payment models for cell and gene therapies must consider how healthcare systems operate to accommodate patient access, say experts. While the cost of gene therapies is often debated throughout the life sciences space, a panel discussion at Cell and Gene Manufacturing and Commercialization (CGMC) in Amsterdam, The Netherlands last month highlighted that the discussion of innovative payment models must also include cross border healthcare patients and payments. Francis Pang, senior vice president of market access and geographical expansion at Orchard…

Everest starts operations at China mRNA vaccine plant

Shanghai Everest Medicines has started operations in its $130 million mRNA vaccine production facility, located in Jiashan, Zhejiang Province. In September 2021, Everest announced a $500 million two-part mRNA deal with Providence Therapeutics of Calvary, Canada. Initially, Everest acquired China-Asia rights to Providence’s mRNA Phase II COVID-19 vaccine and then began a 50/50 global collaboration for two additional Providence mRNA prophylactic or therapeutic products. Everest said it has completed industrial scale technology transfer of the mRNA platform along with other tasks that will allow…