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.”
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.