Emergent buys Abec bioreactor to transfer raxibacumab to Baltimore facility

By Gareth Macdonald contact

- Last updated on GMT

Gettyimages/designer491
Gettyimages/designer491

Related tags: Monoclonal antibodies

Bioterrorism countermeasure manufacturer Emergent Biosciences has bought a 4,000L bioreactor developed by Abec.

The firm will install the technology at its facility in Baltimore, according to Sean Kirk, SVP Manufacturing Operations and CMO business unit head.

He told us “Emergent's Bayview facility is designated by the US Department of Health and Human Services as a Center for Innovation in Advanced Development and Manufacturing, one of three in the US.

We are unable to disclose the purchase price of the Abec bioreactor, but suffice it to say that it will be beneficial to and supportive of our mission to respond to USG needs and the threats that face our nation and our world​.”

Kirk added that: “The expanded capability represented by the Abec bioreactor purchase is in service of our mission as well as the tech transfer of raxibacumab, a fully human monoclonal antibody for the treatment and prophylaxis of inhalation anthrax, into that facility​.”

Capacity increase

Abec claims the bioreactor is the largest single-use system on the market by a factor of two, which it says helps users increase production capacity and culture productivity as well as lowering their cost of goods (COGs).

Scott Battist, general manager of the Baltimore facility, said: “ABEC’s CSR enables us to fully realize the benefits of single use technology by improving flexibility while leveraging economies of scale​.”

Emergent has increased production capacity on a number of occasions in recent years.

In May​ 2016, the firm announced its intention to increase capacity at its Lansing, Michigan facility – known as building 55 – to allow it to produce up to 25 million doses of BioThrax each year. 

And in July​ this year, Emergent bought Sanofi’s ACAM2000 smallpox vaccine for $125m (€108m) in a deal that also saw it acquire a facility the French drug firm is setting up in Canton, Massachusetts and a leased facility in Rockville, Maryland.

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