Global Markets

Pandemic preparedness: GSK enters agreement with 12 EU countries

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has signed an agreement to reserve, produce, and supply its influenza vaccine Adjupanrix to 12 European countries. Under the terms of the deal, GSK has signed a contract with the European Commission’s (EC) Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority (HERA), for the reservation of future manufacture of 85 million doses of Adjupanrix (split virion, inactivated, adjuvanted). The twelve countries involved have not been disclosed but according to GSK, this is one of the first contracts signed by HERA…

Legend Bio looks to raise $250m in public offering

CAR-T firm Legend Biotech has announced plans to raise $250 million by selling American Depositary Shares (ADSs) in an underwritten public offering. In February, New Jersey-Nanjing cell therapy company Legend was approved to launch its BCMA CAR-T therapy, Carvykti, for multiple myeloma in the US, and EU approval followed in May. The company partners the drug with Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen subsidiary. At the recent ASCO convention, Legend revealed the CAR-T had not reached a median progression of disease or…

Danaher dismisses biotech funding crunch as it rides the late-stage wave

Danaher is confident it will continue to see high-single to low-double digit growth within its Pall and Cytiva bioprocess businesses, despite concerns surrounding dips in biotech funding and reduced COVID-related revenue. For the second quarter 2022, Danaher Corporation reported revenues of $7.8 billion, up 9.5% on the same period last year. The company does not breakdown its results by business but during a financial call last week divulged its bioprocessing division “continued to see record activity levels” driving a combined…

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,…

International sales rise but COVID vaccine related costs mount for J&J

Johnson & Johnson took a $276 million hit from its COVID-19 vaccine program in its second quarter, offset by rising sales outside the US. J&J’s so-called ‘Janssen’ vaccine became the third to be approved under the FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) in February 2021. However, in the US at least, the single-shot jab played third fiddle to Pfizer and Moderna’ mRNA vaccines leading to a drop off in demand and reports of changes in its manufacturing strategy. This drop off in…

BeiGene teams with InnoRNA to develop mRNA therapeutics

Beijing-headquartered BeiGene has formed a global strategic collaboration with InnoRNA to develop mRNA therapeutics. Shenzhen, China-headquartered InnoRNA uses its LNP (liquid nanoparticle) delivery technology and mRNA drug discovery program to discover novel mRNA candidates. The collaboration will see InnoRNA receive an upfront cash payment and will be eligible to receive milestones and royalties on sales. BeiGene will hold exclusive global development and commercialization rights for the collaboration’s mRNA-LNP therapies. InnoRNA will receive an additional upfront cash payment and milestones for…

Commercial CAR-Ts: Ensuring lentivirus supply key for J&J and BMS

J&J and Bristol-Myers Squibb have spoken of plans to increase supply of lentivirus as they continue to roll out their respective CAR-T therapies. Bristol-Myers Squibb, meanwhile, achieved commercial chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR-T) success in early 2021 with the approval of both Breyanzi (liso-cel) – which last week was granted second-line approval for relapsed or refractory large B-cell lymphoma (LBCL) by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) – and Abecma (ide-cel) for multiple Myeloma. In March 2022, the FDA…

invoX acquires bispecific firm F-Star for $161m

invoX Pharma, a Sino Biopharm subsidiary, will pay $161 million to acquire F-Star, a Cambridge, UK clinical stage company developing bispecific drugs for immunotherapies. F-star’s platform technology pioneers the use of tetravalent (2+2) bispecific antibodies. These antibodies target two different antigens and are paired with a unique set of pharmacology agents to activate an immune reaction in the tumor microenvironment. F-Star has four candidates in clinical trials, three from its tetravalent platform and one next-gen STING agonist. invoX, located in…

From UK to Rwanda: mRNA driving localized manufacturing model

Moderna is bringing local mRNA manufacturing to the UK through a large-scale facility, while BioNTech has broken ground on a modular scalable mRNA plant in Kigali, Rwanda. Is this the start of a localized production trend? BioNTech this morning announced its efforts to bring localized vaccine manufacturing to Africa have reached a milestone with the commencement of construction of a manufacturing facility in Kigali, Rwanda expected to produce around 50 million doses of mRNA vaccine. The news comes eight months…