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Biopharmaceuticals becoming big business


As pharmas evolve into biopharmas drug company pipelines fill with biopharmaceutical products. Here we will track the latest developments, discoveries and products.

Samsung Bioepis teams with Takeda to take first steps into novel biologics space

22-Aug-2017 - Samsung Bioepis says it will continue focusing on biosimilars as it ventures into the innovative biologics space through a partnership with Takeda.

AstraZeneca ups its mRNA stake through €25m Ethris deal

22-Aug-2017 - AstraZeneca has entered a five-year collaboration to develop therapies for respiratory diseases based on Ethris’ messenger RNA (mRNA) technology.

Bioproduction bottlenecks increasing due to staff shortages, says report

16-Aug-2017 - A shortage in expertise is causing bottlenecks in the biomanufacturing space with around half of drugmakers struggling to fill processing positions, an industry report finds.

Novartis preps production platform for alternative to Lucentis

26-Jul-2017 - Novartis has scaled up manufacturing of wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) monoclonal antibody RTH258 ahead of a potential regulatory submission next year.

Exclusive interview with CEO TH Kim

Samsung Biologics: Reducing COGS could double mammalian CMO use to 50%

25-Jul-2017 - Samsung Biologics wants Big Pharma to up biomanufacturing outsourcing and says lessons learned from the semiconductor industry will give it the advantage in the CMO space.

Sanofi shells out $650m for non-egg based vaccine maker Protein Sciences

11-Jul-2017 - Sanofi will add the recombinant protein-based influenza vaccine Flublok to its products, along with a manufacturing facility in Pearl River, New York.

Shire focusing on biotechnology and R&D hubs in MA operations shake up

11-Jul-2017 - Shire will consolidate both R&D and biomanufacturing facilities in Massachusetts to establish a rare diseases hub in Cambridge and a ‘Technology Center of Excellence’ in Lexington.

Sun shines on CMO Samsung Biologics to make its psoriasis mAb candidate

04-Jul-2017 - Samsung Biologics will make Sun Pharma’s psoriasis monoclonal antibody candidate Tildrakizumab in a deal worth $55.5m.

CEO scouts top E&W Coast scientific talent to secure Merck & Co.'s future

‘Don’t underestimate Merck's vaccine business,’ says CEO

07-Jun-2017 - CEO Ken Frazier has told investors investments and partnerships, such as collaboration with messenger RNA firm Moderna Therapeutics, have bolstered Merck & Co.’s vaccine division.

Merck & Co. €280m spend in latest commitment to Irish biomanufacturing

31-May-2017 - Global demand for its biologics and vaccines has driven expansion plans and 300 jobs across two Irish facilities says MSD.

Amgen: Bioprocess intensification and integration key for next-generation manufacturing

23-May-2017 - Its new Singapore single-use plant is a fraction of the size of a conventional commercial facility but next-generation biomanufacturing at Amgen points to even smaller, more integrated sites.

Novartis in Switzerland: Biologics job boost but 500 'traditional' jobs to go

19-May-2017 - Novartis will add around 350 Swiss jobs to support its innovative biologics pipeline as it looks to cut 500 more “traditional” development and manufacturing roles.

Norgine increases portfolio in Merus acquisition

16-May-2017 - European Norgine B.V. has agreed to acquire all issued and outstanding shares of Merus Labs International in cash for $342m (€309.6).

Seven-year switch? Formycon bets on third wave biosimilars with Stelara candidate

12-May-2017 - Formycon says it is aiming to bring the first biosimilar of J&J’s immunology best-seller Stelara (ustekinumab) to market as early as 2023 in the US.


Glenmark eyes up 1,000L production line expansion at Swiss plant

09-May-2017 - A second single-use production line could offer commercial-scale capacity for bispecific antibodies but Glenmark says it would need to scale-up further to support more traditional biologics.

BPI Europe 2017

Cost-cutting oral vaccine tech will make Vaxart less reliant on CMO

04-May-2017 - Vaxart says its tablet delivery platform has simplified vaccine production so significantly it may bring manufacturing currently contracted to Lonza back in-house.


CHO stopper? Biogen looks to alternative cell lines for future of bioproduction

28-Apr-2017 - The Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cell line is not the future for biomanufacturing says Biogen, which will publish results from a study of alternative hosts later this year.


Boehringer Ingelheim upping capacity with €700m mammalian cell culture plant

27-Apr-2017 - Boehringer Ingelheim has broken ground on a €700m stainless steel bioproduction facility set to house 135,000L of mammalian cell culture capacity.


Messenger RNA a ‘game-changer’ for vaccine industry, Sanofi Pasteur

26-Apr-2017 - Sanofi Pasteur says heavy investment in messenger RNA (mRNA) is warranted as such technology could revolutionise vaccine development and manufacturing.

Sanfilippo syndrome gene therapy could be filed in US next year, Abeona

11-Apr-2017 - Abeona Therapeutics says it plans to file its single injection adeno-associated virus (AAV) gene therapy for Sanfilippo syndrome in the US in late 2018.

1st Stem Cell Community Day - Hamburg, Germany

Stem cells: Single-use bioreactors and microcarriers can overcome scale-up issues, experts

07-Apr-2017 - The only practical way to scale-up volumes of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) is by using microcarriers in single-use bioreactors, say scientists from A*STAR and Instituto Superior Técnico.

Shire success will support polysialic acid drug delivery platform, says Xenetic

06-Apr-2017 - Xenetic Biosciences says success for Shire’s haemophilia A candidate SHP656 will validate its PolyXen drug delivery technology platform and could net the firm up to $100m.

Dispatches from the 1st Stem Cell Community Day, Hamburg

UK Catapult: QbD and process automation key for making commercial cell therapies

05-Apr-2017 - Process automation should be incorporated early when developing large scale cell therapy manufacturing platforms, according to a lead scientist from the UK Catapult.

US FDA submissions pit Novartis and Kite head-to-head in CAR race

04-Apr-2017 - Novartis and Kite Pharma have both submitted autologous leukemia candidates for review, paving the road for the first available chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapy.

UK biotech inks stem cell engineering deal with Singapore researchers

31-Mar-2017 - Plasticell has partnered with Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) and the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) to advance its stem cell pipeline.

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