Upstream & Downstream Processing

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…

‘All us vendors competing in gene therapy space,’ says Repligen

Key wins in gene therapy applications helped deliver a record year for bioprocessing vendor Repligen. For the full year 2018, Massachusetts-headquartered bioprocess technology firm Repligen Corporation reported sales of $194 million (€171 million), up 37% on the year prior. And looking forward, CEO Tony Hunt said his firm is “well positioned to gain further market share, as the industry continues to pivot towards flexible solutions and continuous processing to manufacture the growing number of biological drugs including promising new entrance…

Danaher absorbing GE’s bioprocess biz in $21.4bn deal

Danaher Corporation will consolidate its position in the supplier space through the $21.4 billion acquisition of GE Healthcare’s biopharma division. The business will not be integrated with Pall. The deal, expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2019, will see Danaher Corporation buy the full BioPharma portion of GE Healthcare’s Life Sciences business for a cash purchase price of approximately $21.4 billion (€18.9 billion). The business, which pulls in about $3 billion in annual revenue, provides tools to…

Drones to bioreactors: CDMO Culture Biosciences ready to fly high

Culture Biosciences has secured $5.5 million in funding. Founded by former Google X engineers, the CDMO has harnessed drone delivery technology to support its bioreactor simulation and scale-up services. Led by Section 32, with participation from Refactor Capital and Verily, South San Francisco, California-based firm Culture Biosciences has raised $5.5 million (€4.9 million). The contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) is offering biotech firms a digital biomanufacturing platform and bioreactor facilities to run, monitor and analyze bioreactor experiments to assess…

AstraZeneca ups yields but takes $400m hit on plant closures

“We can produce the volume we need with more limited manufacturing capacity,” says AstraZeneca in the wake of closing two biologics facilities in Colorado. Last month, AstraZeneca announced plans to consolidate its US biologics manufacturing operations. This included closing facilities in Boulder and Longmont, Colorado less than four years after acquiring them from Amgen, and moving operations to its site in Frederick, Maryland. The restructure aims to drive efficiencies in its operations network, but the Anglo-Swedish firm said it expects…

Meissner expanding footprint with Irish gov support

Filtration firm Meissner will establish a facility in County Mayo, Ireland for the manufacture of single-use systems, creating 150 jobs. Meissner Filtration Products has taken advantage of a 34,000 square-foot facility Advanced Technology Building, constructed by Ireland’s investment agency IDA, and plans to expand it by a further 100,000 square-feet. The firm plans to construct a cleanroom within the existing facility to be used for the manufacture of single-use systems (SUS) to support biopharmaceutical clients. Adjacent land at the site…

Thermo Fisher to make T cells for Torque at new NJ plant

Thermo Fisher will staff and operate a modular and fully-closed cell therapy facility in New Jersey on behalf of Torque. The 10,000 square-foot facility in Princeton, New Jersey is set to come online in 2019 and will support Torque’s immuno-oncology ‘Deep-Primed T Cell’ candidates. The products use the firm’s cell process engineering technologies, which do not require genetic engineering of the T cells, and lead candidate TRQ1501 (Deep IL-15 primed T cells) is set to begin Phase I/II clinical trials…

Vendors highlight another standout year for bioprocessing

Demand for bioprocessing technology remains strong as GE Healthcare, Thermo Fisher, Pall and Sartorius all report high annual growth. With the financial season in full swing, four of the major industry suppliers have reported their Q4s and end-of-year results, and all have one thing in common: high growth across their bioprocessing segments. GE Healthcare, which is being prepped to separate from parent company General Electric, reported revenues of $19 billion (€16.5 billion) for the full year, up 4%. The division…

Life after Lonza: Sartorius looks to build inhouse culture media biz

After a six-year partnership with CDMO Lonza ended, Sartorius Stedim Biotech says it is looking to build its own cell culture media business. In November 2018, bioprocessing vendor Sartorius and contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) Lonza ended a supply and distribution partnership forged in December 2012 for media and buffers used in the manufacture of protein-based therapeutics and vaccines. Under terms of the deal, Lonza manufactured the media and Sartorius had the exclusive sales and marketing rights. Customers of…

Finding closure: Lowering the costs of cell and gene therapies

Fully closed and automated platforms are key to reducing the current high costs of cell and gene therapy manufacturing, say industry experts. Cell and gene therapies (CGTs) have come a long way over the past two years, resulting in two chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapies – Kymriah and Yescarta – and the novel gene therapy Luxturna reaching commercialization. But now these therapies have proved themselves, the major talking point among delegates at the Phacilitate conference in Miami, Florida last…