Upstream & Downstream Processing

Stilmas buys MarCor to boost global biopharma water biz

Stilmas Americas has been formed from the acquisition of Canada’s MarCor, bringing its purified water and water for injection (WFI) solutions to North America. The deal sees Stilmas add the high purity division of MarCor to its business. Finanacial details have not been divulged. Stilmas is a subsidiary of the Masco Group, a conglomerate which offers engineering, pure media systems – including WFI stills, purified water systems, pure steam generators – and super skid preparation systems to the biopharma industry,…

Separate together: Biotage buying purification firm PhyNexus

Swedish separations firm Biotage will add lab scale purification technology through its acquisition of PhyNexus. Financial details of the deal have not been divulged, but the California-based private firm PhyNexus has agreed to be acquired by Biotage this week. PhyNexus will bring an enabling automation platform based on Dual Flow Chromatography to Biotage’s bioprocess offering and increase the firm’s place in the downstream space. The technology enables miniaturized and parallel automated work-flows to address different laboratory purification processes. The Dual…

GE plans purification platform production plant post Puridify purchase

GE Healthcare will open a biomanufacturing center in Stevenage, UK to support production of its fiber-based purification platform, which it acquired last year. In November 2017, bioprocessing equipment and consumables vendor GE Healthcare acquired Puridify – a spin-out from University College London, UK – for an undisclosed fee. The deal added early-stage tech platform FibroSelect, consisting of a nanofiber-based material to which ligands are attached to activate the platform for purification of biologics. A year on and the firm has…

Continuous gene therapy production targeted in UK collaboration

Cobra Biologics and the Cell and Gene Therapy (CGT) Catapult have teamed with Pall to explore continuous manufacturing of gene therapies. The project builds on a concurrent collaboration which looks to reduce the cost of adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors. The collaboration received a £1.5 million ($1.9 million) shared grant from Innovate UK, the United Kingdom’s innovation agency, to investigate continuous manufacturing of adeno-associated virus (AAV) for gene therapy applications. “The project is a joint collaboration between Cobra, Pall and the…

Lonza and Sartorius rejig cell culture media deal

Lonza says cell culture media is no longer simply a consumable but a critical part of the biomanufacturing process as it modifies its supply deal with Sartorius. In December 2012, contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) Lonza teamed up with bioprocessing equipment and consumables supplier Sartorius Stedim Biotech (SSB) for the supply and distribution of media and buffers used in the manufacture of protein-based therapeutics and vaccines. A shift in the arrangement now sees supply continue but under non-exclusive terms,…

Filtration and single-use drive robust quarter for MilliporeSigma

Merck KGaA reported a 16% year-on-year growth for its MilliporeSigma Process Solutions business and expects continued strong demand from biomanufacturers to drive high single-digits in the long-term. “Thank you sir, can we have another (Q like this one),” Evercore ISI analyst Luke Sergott wrote in an note describing German Merck’s third quarter 2018. While group sales grew 6.6% year-on-year to €3.7 billion ($4.2 billion), it was the life sciences MilliporeSigma division which really shone. The Process Solutions business unit grew…

Rentschler $34m Austrian plant to feed freeze-drying capacity demand

Rentschler Fill Solutions has inaugurated a €30 million ($34 million) fill & finish facility in Austria. The site will produce Mepsevii (vestronidase alfa) drug product for Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical. Construction of the facility began in July 2016, and the plant received GMP approval in August this year. But today (Friday) the contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) officially inaugurated the facility in Rankweil, Austria. The clinical and commercial plant forms part of Rentschler Biotechnologie’s strategic alliance with Leukocare, which aims to…

NIIMBL and BPOG publish roadmaps for ADCs, vaccines and gene therapies

The National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals (NIIMBL), in collaboration with the BioPhorum Operations Group (BPOG), has published a series of technology roadmaps for the biopharma industry. The roadmaps cover manufacturing issues surrounding gene therapies, vaccines, antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) and bi-specific antibodies, and are based on insight from biomanufacturers, equipment makers, suppliers, academic institutions, non-profits, and federal agencies. They are intended to provide a clear vision of innovation for biopharmaceutical manufacturing processes and platforms and address technology needs and…

Staffing shortage leaving blockbuster biologics undeveloped, says expert

A shortage of bioprocess talent drives high salaries and hinders drug development, says BioPlan Associate’s Eric Langer. As biologics increasingly dominate pipelines, biomanufacturers look to traditional pharma to plug the staffing gaps. Speaking last month at the BIOLive event at CPhI Worldwide in Madrid, Eric Langer, president and managing partner at BioPlan Associates, said hiring is one of the biggest problems facing the biopharma industry. “It is painful [to the biopharma hiring managers] that 40% of the biopharma industry cannot hire…

Collaboration looks to crystallization as alternative to multi-step chromatography

A European Union funded project to improve downstream processing is on track for completion by October 2020, says collaborator Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies. The AMECRYS research project, funded through a €3.5 million ($4 million) grant through the European Union’s Horizon 2020 program, has brought together industry with government and academic institutes to develop alternatives to multi-step batch chromatography platforms. One of the collaborators is biologics contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies, which has reached a milestone in the…