The biomanufacturing division of Chinese CDMO WuXi PharmaTech announced last week it has won a contract to provide clinical batches of Prima Biomed’s lead product IMP321 – a soluble LAG-3Ig fusion protein in Phase II trials intended to boost T cell responses in patients with metastatic breast cancer.
WuXi Biologics’s CEO Chris Chen told Biopharma-Reporter batches will be produced at a biologics manufacturing facility it is building in WuXi City, 100km west of Shanghai.
Construction of the $150m plant began in 2015 and is due to be completed by 2017. The site will house 14 x 2,000L single-use bioreactors.
In September, a perfusion plant with two x 1,000L single-use bioreactors opened at the site, marking the first phase of completion.
Under terms of the deal – the financials of which were not diulged - WuXi Biologics will also be the preferred manufacturer for other products in Prima’s pipeline.
“This type of long-term strategic relationship showcases WuXi's global acceptance as a trusted and high-quality bio manufacturing partner,” Chen told us.
WuXi and Lion
In related news, New York-based Lion Biotechnologies has contracted WuXi AppTec to provide manufacturing and other services related to the company’s autologous cell therapy products.
In an SEC filing yesterday, Lion said under terms of the three-year deal “two cGMP manufacturing suites [are] to be established and operated by WuXi AppTec for the Company, one of which is expected to be capable of being used for the commercial manufacture of the Company’s products.”
Work will be done at WuXi’s cell and gene therapy manufacturing facility at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, Pennsylvania where last month a third 45,000 sq ft plant focused on chimeric antigen receptor T (CAR T) cell opened.