Novasep buys to get big in bio

By Nick Taylor

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Biotechnology, Novasep

Novasep has bolstered its upstream processing capabilities by acquiring Henogen, a Belgium-based CMO that has biotech development and cGMP manufacturing expertise.

The acquisition allows Novasep, a producer of active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) and purification systems, to offer “manufacturing solutions covering almost every type of biopharmaceutical​”.

Novasep views the acquisition as a confirmation of its “determination to become a major player in the world biomanufacturing market​”, according to Roger-Marc Nicoud, the company’s CEO.

The complementary nature of Henogen’s capabilities led to it being selected as an acquisition target. In addition the companies have collaborated on several biomanufacturing projects.

Henogen has expertise in upstream processing and experience using an array of expression tools including viral vectors,Escherichia coli​, yeast,Lactococcus lactis​ and insect and mammalian cells.

Focus on antibody-drug conjugates

Novasep hopes to marry these capabilities to its downstream processing capacity, allowing it to offer clients a comprehensive antibody-drug conjugates manufacturing services.

Antibody-drug conjugates have been identified by Novasep as a growth area and through the acquisition it believes it will be one of the leading businesses in the field, with services spanning from early development to commercial manufacture.

Lonza has also invested in capacity for manufacturing antibody-drug conjugates. The Swiss-based contract manufacturing organisation (CMO) finished building a facility in Visp, Switzerland in 2008 and has also identified the sector as a growth opportunity.

Stephen Borgas, CEO at Lonza, explained the company’s decision to enter the market at a meeting of the European Fine Chemicals Group (EFCG) last year.

He commented: “We are going back from antibodies, to antibody fragments, proteins and finally to small molecules, in other words full circle from biology back to chemistry​.”

Cambrex has also shown an interest in the sector, producing and packaging its first antibody-drug conjugate for CuraGen in 2006.

Related topics: Upstream Processing

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