Global Markets

Merck completes $1bn HPV vaccine expansion in Virginia

Merck & Co. has added 120,000 square feet of manufacturing capacity at its Rockingham County site to support continued scale-up of its Gardasil HPV vaccines. Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines Gardasil and Gardasil 9 pulled in $1.5 billion for Merck last year, and while the firm has predicted sales to double by 2030 as demand continues, this is reliant on having the manufacturing capacity in place. With this in mind, it is good news today for Merck as it announces the…

BioProcess Insider State of the Industry – Live from BPI West, March 2022

BioProcess Insider’s State of the Industry takes a deeper look into the recent business news affecting the biomanufacturing industry, picking apart the numbers and highlighting potential trends. With a panel of industry experts, editor Dan Stanton discusses recent mergers and acquisitions in the bioprocess space, bottlenecks within the manufacturing sector, the continued head- and tailwinds COVID-19 is placing on businesses, and the evolution of the cell and gene therapy landscape and what that means for supply chains. Panelists: Frank Orlowski,…

UK reports 9% yearly growth in CGT clinical trials

CGT Catapult says the UK is a “world leader” in developing advanced therapies after publishing a 2021 clinical trials database and report. The Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult (CGT Catapult) says its Advanced Therapy Medicinal Product (ATMP) 2021 clinical trials report has highlighted a period of continued growth in both the amount and progress of trials being conducted in the UK. “In the UK, just under 80% of ATMP clinical trials are commercially sponsored, an increase of 13% over the…

Latent application: Moderna lauds mRNA manufacturing for herpes, HIV and beyond

Moderna says the flexibility and footprint of mRNA production can overcome scaling-up issues seen with current latent virus vaccines like GSK’s Shingrix. Moderna entered the ‘Big Pharma’ space in 2021 when its COVID-19 vaccine Spikevax became the second messenger RNA (mRNA) product to achieve commercial success. Last year, 807 million doses of the vaccine were sold, bringing in $17.7 billion for Moderna. For comparison, Moderna reported total sales in 2020 of $803 million and $60 million in 2019. Going forward,…

WuXi Bio grabs larger piece of the bio CDMO pie

With over 10% of the biologics outsourcing market share, WuXi Biologics is now the second largest CDMO according to an analyst.  The China-based contract development manufacturing organization (CDMO) reported its end of year results for 2021. Revenues increased by 83.3% year-on-year to $1.6 billion and net profits grew by 107%, totaling $550 million. Furthermore, according to Chris Liu, an equity analyst at Jefferies, Wuxi is now the second largest player in the global biologics outsourcing market with 10.3% shares of…

AI start-up explains why protein engineering (Bio)matters

BioProcess Insider spoke with Biomatter Designs founder and CEO Laurynas Karpus to discuss the Lithuanian-born start-up and its future. Founded in 2018, Biomatter Designs aims to shift the field of protein engineering by producing a platform for generative protein design for next-generation manufacturing and therapeutic applications. BioProcess Insider (BI): How would you describe Biomatter Designs? Laurynas Karpus (LK): Biomatter Designs is a biotech company striving to shift the paradigm in the field of protein engineering by developing a platform for…

Sanofi’s $1bn French booster part of 5-year mRNA plan

The announced investment is not news, but rather an opportunity for Sanofi to drive France’s mRNA ambition as it lays the foundation stone at a production site in Lyon. Sanofi issued a press release (in French) this week announcing plans to invest €935 million ($1 billion) between 2022 and 2026 “in order to provide France with a complete and autonomous value chain in mRNA technology.” The announcement was made during the groundbreaking ceremony for Sanofi’s Evolutive Vaccines Facility (EVF) in…

VR training can help meet industry demand, says CGT Catapult

CGT Catapult has started to include virtual reality (VR) training across the entirety of its skills development programs to meet demands of the industry.  Workforce development opportunities are a focal point in the pharma space as there is a general consensus among professionals that the amount of talent coming through the ranks does not match the huge investment in capacity being seen across the life sciences industry.   With many roles requiring highly skilled workers, training programs are being altered and updated to…

Robert Califf named as FDA commissioner

On Tuesday the Senate voted to confirm Robert Califf as the next commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The US FDA has not had a permanent leader since January 2021 and in November last year President Joe Biden nominated former FDA commissioner Robert Califf to lead the organization for a second time. Now, in a tight vote resulting in 50 in favor of Califf and 46 against, he returns to the position he served in from 2016…

MilliporeSigma: Talent shortages will remain an ongoing issue in 2022

Talent retention and attraction will be the biggest challenge firms face in 2022, says MilliporeSigma’s head of Process Solutions Andrew Bulpin. Talent shortages in the biopharma space have been globally reported with professionals forming a general consensus that the industry’s growth does not match the amount of talent coming through. While certain countries like Lithuania claim it has a talent pool ready and waiting, other global companies such as Lonza, SwedenBIO, pharma recruitment firm Lead Candidate, and Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult expressed their…