Avid letting Peregrine fly off as it focuses on bio-CDMO business

By Dan Stanton contact

- Last updated on GMT

GettyImages/SteveOehlenschlager
GettyImages/SteveOehlenschlager

Related tags: Monoclonal antibodies

Peregrine Pharmaceuticals will become a pure-play CDMO under the name Avid Bioservices and is looking to sell or license its pipeline, including investigational monoclonal antibody bavituximab.

For over 20 years Californian biopharma firm Peregrine has been developing a pipeline of biologics while selling excess manufacturing capacity through its side-line third-party business, Avid Bioservices.

But the firm has now called time on both its name and internal development to focus solely on the contract development and manufacturing organisation (CDMO).

“[We] came to the conclusion that we have a great CDMO business and regulatory track record… and made the decision to focus on this side of the business and sell off the R&D assets​,” CEO Steve King told our sister publication Outsourcing-Pharma.com​.

Clearly, the CDMO space is a very hot area, a lot of interest and M&A activity,” ​he added. “We think there’s a great future​.”

Peregrine’s lead candidate is bavituximab, a chimeric monoclonal antibody (mAb) under US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) fast-track designation for the treatment of second-line non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

The firm is now looking to license or sell the candidate (along with the rest of its pipeline), a decision triggered by negative Phase III trial results announced in February this year.

The goal – according to King speaking to investors in September – is to “find a partner that will make a significant short-term investment in the bavituximab program in order to validate the subset analysis from the Phase III SUNRISE trial and build on recent data from our collaborators.”

Manufacturing

Avid/Peregrine has been steadily growing its manufacturing capacity over the past few years to support both bavituximab and CMO demand.

In May​, 18 months after a second biomanufacturing site came on-line in Tustin, California, the firm announced it was expanding the single-use ‘Myford’ production plant by adding multiple MilliporeSigma 2,000L bioreactors.

With this, the firm boasts over 9,000L capacity at the 1,000L and 2,000L scale at Myford, and a further 2,000L of capacity at its Franklin plant, also located in Tustin.

While plans for a third standalone facility​ have since been modified to the construction of a central warehouse for all manufacturing operations within the Myford site, the company told Outsourcing-Pharma it is considering deploying new “copycat”​ facilities, though no locations have been chosen at this time.

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