Recipharm acquires Portuguese CDMO as it looks to grow its biologics business

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/Simon Carter Peter Crowther
© GettyImages/Simon Carter Peter Crowther

Related tags Viral vectors Vaccines Biologics Recipharm

Contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO), Recipharm, has acquired GenIbet, a Portuguese CDMO, specializing in the manufacture of biological clinical trial material.

Marc Funk, CEO of Stockholm, Sweden headquartered, Recipharm, said the Portuguese organization has a broad offering in novel modalities and deep scientific expertise. “This acquisition is an important step for us in growing our biologics business.”

GenIbet was founded as a spin-off from Instituto de Biologia Experimental e Tecnológica (Ibet) in 2016 and currently has around 70 employees. Its Portuguese facility is in Lisbon, just 11 km from Recipharm's plant. It works on customer projects during the preclinical and Phase 1 stages and has partnered with the likes of Moderna and Seres Therapeutics, Inc.

Recipharm’s strategy is to expand its footprint in the biologics market, with a particular focus on drug substance manufacturing of novel ATMPs. It is looking to leverage GenIbet’s expertise.

It said that, through its relationship with not-for-profit research organization Ibet, the Portuguese CDMO offers deep scientific expertise and novel solutions where no established production route exists. 

Expanding on that, Ulrike Lemke, chief transformation officer, Recipharm, told BioPharma-Reporter: "GenIbet has experience in producing medicines in the area of live biotherapeutics, virus vaccines, oncolytic viruses, RNA, viral vaccines and others. For many of these modalities standard routes of manufacturing - platform processes - do not yet exist. When new approaches are being developed, customers need partners like GenIbet that have a deep understanding in developing scalable GMP processes."

Vaccine packaging deal

Recipharm operates development and manufacturing facilities in France, Germany, India, Israel, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and the UK. Last week, it announced ​it had inked a deal with a top 10 big pharma company to support vaccine manufacturing from its facility in the Alsace region of France.

As part of that deal, Recipharm will aseptically pack single-use vaccines, using the CDMO’s specialist blow-fill-seal (BFS) capabilities. Recipharm plans to recruit over 30 additional employees between 2022 and 2026 as the product scales towards commercial production.

A spokesperson said the plant in question, which is located in Kaysersberg, is shifting its focus from the ophthalmic area to biologicals.

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