Upstream & Downstream Processing

Twist leaves gene production problems behind; looks to ‘Factory of the Future’

Twist Bioscience reported a robust first quarter, having overcome a gene production issue last year that led a temporary halt in supply. For the first quarter fiscal year 2022, DNA synthesis firm Twist Bioscience reported revenues and orders of $42 million and $49.6 million, up 50% and 48% year-on-year, respectively. This included around $13.5 million in gene production for Twist’s partner with SynBio, a deal inked in 2017 that sees the firm manufacture synthetic DNA up to 3.2 kilobases in…

Thermo’s $39bn+ sales driven by 25% y-o-y biopharma growth

Thermo Fisher has increased its guidance for 2022 predicting that COVID-19 related work and the contribution from PPD would drive growth. The technology and services firm announced the revision last week during a full year earnings call when it revealed that full year revenue grew 22% to $39.21 billion. It went on to explain that organic revenue – sales generated by Thermo’s core businesses – increased 17%. It also said the contribution from acquisitions – including contract research organization PPD which…

CDMO Arranta buys Cytiva single-use tech for mRNA production

Live biologics CDMO Arranta Bio has bought a single-use manufacturing platform from Cytiva for the production of mRNA vaccines.  The purchase is part of a $110 million investment by Arranta at its manufacturing and development facility in Watertown, Massachusetts. The CDMO also plans to open a dedicate space for lipid nanoparticle formulation  Joe Makowiecki from Cytiva, told us “This is the first FlexFactory for an mRNA product,” adding that it will “provide Arranta the flexibility to manufacture mRNA vaccines and therapies from in vitro transcription (IVT) to drug product aseptic fill.    He predicted that…

HPNE to expand single-use capacity on back of $15m BARDA contract

Funding from BARDA gives High Purity New England (HPNE) the opportunity to expand into its fourth facility, the bioprocess vendor says. HPNE has been contracted to produce pharmaceutical consumable equipment for the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) and its third parties, issued in response to a Presidential Declaration of Public Health Emergency. The $15 million contract – number 75A50122C00009 – forms part of the office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response at the US Department of…

Danaher: $10bn+ war chest in 2022 but sees no gaps in bioprocessing

Danaher Corporation claims to be the leading player in bioprocessing and hopes to strengthen the offering further in 2022 through opportunist acquisitions. In 2021, Danaher Corporation spent over $10 billion in M&A deals. The bulk of the capital – $9.6 billion – was used to enter the contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) through the addition of Aldevron, though other deals in the life sciences space included the addition of lipid nanoparticle tech firm Precision Nanosystems (PNI). And discussing the…

Thermo Fisher buys recombinant protein maker PeproTech for $1.85bn

Thermo Fisher has opened its M&A war chest early in 2022, buying biopharma reagent firm PeproTech for $1.85 billion. The deal, announced on December 30, closed yesterday, adding Cranbury, New Jersey-based reagent maker PeproTech to Thermo Fisher Scientific’s cell culture media offering. Founded in 1988, PeproTech offers over 2,000 cytokines, antibodies, ELISA, and cell culture media kits for the development and manufacturing of biologics and cell and gene therapies. According to Thermo Fisher’s CEO Marc Casper, the acquisition “will be…

Bioanalytics booster: Sartorius takes stake in Automated Lab Solutions

Sartorius has acquired 62.5% of cell isolation firm Automated Lab Solutions (ALS) with the remaining shares set to be purchased in 2026. Jena, Germany headquartered ALS is the latest investment in bioanalytics by life sciences firm Sartorius. The deal, announced late last year, adds solutions for the automated analysis, selection and isolation of cells to Sartorius’ offerings, and adds around 30 people to its staff. Gerry Mackay, member of the Executive Board and Head of the Lab Products & Services…

Digital transformation must be driven by technology and savvy staff

Staff who understand the benefits of digital manufacturing are as important as the technology itself, according to a Novartis expert Digitization is a hot topic for biopharma. Advocates say the ability to monitor and model manufacturing data in real-time as a major advantage in terms of product quality and consistency. Technology is driving the shift from analog. But having staff who understand the benefits is as important according to Francisca Gouveia, a Senior Process Expert, MS&T at Novartis, who says…

Danaher and COVID: $2bn orders for 2022 without potential Omicron windfall

COVID-19 continues to drive bioprocess orders for Danaher Corporation, but the extended vaccine rollout and the unknown impact of the Omicron variant could see a further surge in 2022. In April, Danaher spoke about its efforts in the manufacture of COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics, adding an estimated $2 billion in 2021 revenue to its bioprocess businesses Cytiva and Pall. As 2022 appears over the horizon, CEO Rainer Blair told delegates at the Evercore ISI Annual HealthCONx Conference orders for COVID-related…

Scaling-up AAV production? Take your time to develop best processes

The lack of standardization surrounding gene therapy production means process design can be more important than speed to clinic, says Oxford BioMedica’s CCO. The complexities of manufacturing monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) has been ironed out somewhat over the 30+ years of their presence commercially. But for the burgeoning gene therapy sector, there are no standardized mammalian-based platforms, for example, nor tried-and-tested upstream and downstream processes. “Viruses and viral vectors come in many shapes and sizes, each with their own characteristics,” Dave…