Thermo Fisher boosts viral vector manufacturing capabilities with Henogen acquisition

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/AndreyPopov
© GettyImages/AndreyPopov

Related tags Viral vector cell and gene therapy Vaccines

The growing global pipeline of cell and gene therapy projects has prompted Thermo Fisher Scientific to invest again, with it announcing today that it had bought Henogen, Novasep’s viral vector manufacturing business based in Belgium, for about US$879.72m (€725m) in cash.

The acquisition will help the contract and development manufacturing organization (CDMO) expand its capabilities for cell and gene therapies as well as vaccines.

Henogen generated revenue around €80m (US$95m) in 2020, delivering contract manufacturing services to biotechnology companies and large biopharma customers.

The business is run out of two locations - in Seneffe and Gosselies, Belgium; the viral vector operations include more than 7,000 square meters of state-of-the-art clinical and commercial manufacturing capacity.

Founded more than 20 years ago, Henogen employs around 400 skilled staff, with substantial operational and technical expertise in a broad range of viral vector classes.

Thermo Fisher said the deal fits in well with its recent investment​ in its clinical and commercial capabilities, in the US and also in facilities in the UK and Germany, for cell and gene-based therapies.

The CDMO said it will now look to expand the development and scale of Henogen’s viral vector services portfolio. The business will be part of its pharma services business within its laboratory products and services segment.

Michel Lagarde, executive vice president of Thermo Fisher, commented on the deal: “The addition of their manufacturing capabilities in Europe complements our four development and manufacturing sites in North America. In addition, they bring an incredibly talented team with more than two decades of experience across a broad range of viral vectors. The combination will benefit our global customers seeking support and capacity in the region as well as European customers bringing new medicines to patients inside and outside of Europe.”

Viral vector manufacturing project 

In May last year, Thermo Fisher confirmed it was expanding capacity for viral vector development and manufacturing services​, with it planning to build a new commercial manufacturing site in Plainville, Massachusetts. That US$180m project would reportedly more than double the company's commercial viral vector capacity to support increasing demand for the development and manufacture of gene therapies and vaccines.

Construction of the new 290,000-square-foot facility was expected to be completed in 2022. The project was slated as complementing the company's capacity in Lexington and Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Alachua, Florida.

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