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Thermo and Lyell team to boost T-cell fitness for CAR-T

Thermo Fisher Scientific will develop manufacturing processes for cancer cell therapies in collaboration with Lyell Immunopharma. The deal – financial terms of which were not provided – will focus on improving the “fitness” of T cells from which cell therapies are produced according to the firms. A T-cells metabolic “fitness” describes the likelihood it can be turned into a cell therapy. Cell therapies need to be fit because of the high metabolic demands of tumor cells can negatively impact their…

MolMed latest add-on for expansion hungry AGC Biologics

AGC Biologics has acquired Molecular Medicine (MolMed), increasing its presence in the CDMO space and adding a pipeline of cell and gene therapy candidates. In March, contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) AGC Biologics launched a voluntary tender offer to acquire Italian cell and gene therapy developer and manufacturer MolMed for €240 million ($284 million). Today the deal has been completed, bulking out AGC’s biopharma offering. On the services side, AGC adds two GMP sites in Milan and Bresso, both…

Cyclic Cell Harvest with CONTIBAC® SU Filters

As the Biotech industry is moving towards single-use components, larger batch volumes and higher cell concentrations, conventional cell harvest technologies reach their limit. Depth filters, for instance, can only cope with the increasing demands by stacking more filter elements and therefore increasing the footprint and their economic burden. Hence, innovative solutions are needed to keep pushing the boundaries of the biologics production. The CONTIBAC® SU filter of DrM excels where existing technologies crumble. Unlike in any competing technology, the filtration…

Rapid Micro Biosystems to fund EU facility construction with $120m fundraising

US sterility testing tech firm Rapid Micro Biosystems will build a European plant and expand its business with $120 million raised this week. The Lowell, Massachusetts firm – which makes automated microbial detection systems – completed a $120 million financing round this week, attracting equity investment from The Ally Bridge Group, Endeavour Vision, and existing investors including Asahi Kasei. CEO Robert Spignesi told Bioprocess Insider the firm’s “growth plan includes establishing new manufacturing capacity, beyond our current US manufacturing facility…

Takeda divesting former-Shire $400m plant with 200 staff in Ireland

Takeda has identified a biomanufacturing facility in Dunboyne, Ireland as no longer required in a strategic review of its production network following the acquisition of Shire. In January 2019, Takeda completed its $62 billion (€56 billion) acquisition of Shire. As part of its integration, the firm said it intended to divest up to 25% of the combined business. Part of this strategy includes a biologics facility in Dunboyne, County Meath Ireland. “A strategic review of Takeda’s global biologics manufacturing network,…

Middle class: Lonza on the flexibility of midscale biomanufacturing

With construction of a 6,000 L scale hybrid plant underway, CDMO Lonza says there is high demand among its customers for midscale biomanufacturing. In this industry, companies and commentators like talking about extremes: either small-scale single-use or large-scale stainless steel. But speaking at the BPI Theater at BIO in Philadelphia earlier this month, Stéphane Varray, commercial development for midscale at Lonza Pharma and Biotech said midscale options provide firms with flexibility across numerous modalities. “When we look at midscale we’re…

Hey Big Vendor: With GE, Danaher becomes largest bioprocess player

The $21.4 billion addition of GE Healthcare’s Biopharma business will complement Pall’s technologies to bring biomanufacturers a fully end-to-end bioprocessing offering. BioProcess Insider reported the news that Danaher Corporation has agreed to buy the Biopharma division of GE Healthcare’s Life Sciences business for approximately $21.4 billion (€18.9 billion) on Monday. If the deal is completed, it will be the biggest merger in the bioprocessing space, dwarfing Danaher’s previous $13.8 billion takeover of Pall Corporation in 2015, and the similar size…

Cell therapy firms and vendors look to automation technologies

Nearly 90% of cell therapy firms plan to invest further into automation technologies within five years, a KNect365 survey finds. KNect365’s Life Sciences Cell Therapy Automation Survey 2018 collated the responses of 158 life science executives and engineers. When asked to what extent companies are currently automating their process, the results ranged from 14% not using automation at all to 7% claiming all their processes are automated. This averages out to around 52% of processes being automated. Process automation (for…

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