Cobra Biomanufacturing has entered into a manufacturing development agreement to produce a protein from the SARS virus in CHO (Chinese Hamster Ovary) cells. The pharmaceutical firm that enlisted Cobra, to make the protein for its Phase I trials, remains undisclosed, as do the financial details. What is known is that the pharmaceutical company will carry out the upstream manufacturing of the SARS protein and ship media containing the protein of interest to Cobra. Cobra will then perform the downstream work to isolate and purify the protein at its facility in Oxford, UK. This past week, Dutch biotechnology firm Crucell has announced an exclusive vaccine development agreement with Wyeth Pharmaceuticals. Under the terms of the deal, from its facilities in Bern, Switzerland, Crucell will carry out the development and manufacture of certain components of a vaccine for use by Wyeth in clinical studies. Wyeth will be responsible for the clinical development of the vaccine. Financial details were not disclosed. In other news, Vetter Pharma-Fertigung has been granted approval by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to begin conducting the fill and finish of a new, innovative drug for one of its clients from its Ravensburg Vetter South facility in Germany. The company specialises in aseptically pre-filled injection systems used in the production of biotechnological and complex medications. Describing the approval as a "vital step in our corporate development," Thomas Otto, Vetter's managing director said: "It means that we can continue expanding our business. It also secures our jobs, our investments and our future projects. In addition, it reinforces our position as an expert in the filling of sensitive substances." Meanwhile, India's Arch Pharmalabs has opened its expanded operations at its Gurgaon site, which are now ready for production. The new facilities entail four manufacturing plants, with enhanced utilities and effluent treatment amenities, in addition to a new pilot plant that will address the company's contract manufacturing ambitions, producing compounds for both preclinical and clinical requirements of pharma firms. According to a company spokesperson, the company's grand expansion plans are aimed at "aggressively targeting" the western markets of the US and Europe, which it considers as "key" and is expecting the site to be inspected by the FDA in the first half of the year. The facility will be dedicated to the manufacture of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs). In particular, the site will focus on APIs for cardiovascular and immunologic indications, the firm said. In related news, Lonza has been reclassified on the Swiss Stock Exchange from a specialty chemicals entity to a life sciences and biotechnology company, a move welcomed by the firm.