Peregine Pharmaceuticals – Avid’s parent company – announced the completion of the facility in Tustin, California this week, estimating that the capacity increase for its ontracting arm will support "up to an additional $40m in revenue each year.”
Construction was actually completed last year according to Peregrine, which announced the facility was “ready for the initial phase of GMP manufacturing” in an SEC filing in December.
Peregrine said the plant – which houses single use bioreactors (SUBs) with capacity of up to 2,000 litres – will support clinical development of its own late phase cancer drug bavituximab and production of biopharmaceutical for other firms.
Peregrine CEO Steven King said: “This is an exciting milestone for our biomanufacturing business, which already had 20% revenue growth in our last fiscal year to $26.7 million and is expected to grow to $35-40 million in revenue for the current fiscal year that ends April 30.
He added that: "We have already had a tremendous response to the new facility and look forward to continuing to grow our biomanufacturing business which is an integral part of our overall business strategy."
Timely revenue boost
Peregrine generates that vast majority of its revenues from contract manufacturing. According to its most recent filing Avid brought in $18.9m for the six months ended October 31, which was an increase of around $7m on the comparable period in fiscal 2014.
Peregrine’s technology licensing activities – which relate to a 2010 deal to develop its tumour necrosis therapy technologies - generated just $292,000 in the six months to October 31.
The formal commission of the facility follows a few weeks after Peregrine announced it was halting a Phase III trial of bavituximab – known as SUNRISE – after analysis showed that its drug combined with docetaxel did not perform better than docetaxel alone.
At the time a spokesman for the firm declined to comment on bavituximab future, telling us "unfortunately, as this is an unfolding situation with much data analysis remaining to be done, there is nothing more that we can say on the topic of the SUNRISE study."