The German contract development and manufacturing organizations (CDMOs) decided to team up in June 2020 on projects whereby collaboration would help streamline drug development, with the idea of reducing cost and complexity for clients.
Markus Kirchner, a spokesperson for Vetter noted the “good progress” their partnership, Xpert Alliance, has made since it was launched.
“Vetter and Rentschler Biopharma have established operational agreements and guidelines between various departments, with the intent to cover joint approaches as well as core processes across both organizations to align interfaces and optimize services for the client’s convenience," he told this site.
The companies are in continuous discussion with a variety of current and new customers, he added, with some joint client projects already at an advanced stage.
The partners will leverage the learnings to date to further advance the alliance, said Kirchner.
The two CDMOs, though independent entities, have been exploring ways to build on each other’s service portfolio by focusing on complementary skills and experience to help biopharma companies address the increasingly complex and cost intensive nature of drug development. “Biopharma companies are under significant pressure to streamline their products’ path to market,” said the spokesperson.
“Vetter and Rentschler have their respective core competencies along the biopharmaceutical value chain - Rentschler has extensive experience in drug substance manufacturing, including bioprocess development and API production, and Vetter has strong expertise in aseptic fill/finish and secondary packaging,” noted Kirchner.
New facilities, new hires
The last year has seen Vetter tick a lot of boxes in terms of ongoing expansion projects, as well as quality control and storage capacity initiatives.
In March 2021, the company opened a new business entity in Shanghai, China. It said the new office, its fourth in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region, increases its visibility in China and underlines its importance as an important strategic market to Vetter.
January this year saw the company’s new site in Rankweil, Austria, which is a European counterpart to its existing clinical manufacturing site near Chicago, receive manufacturing authorization from the Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety (AGES). The successfully completed cGMP inspection by AGES meant the new clinical manufacturing facility could officially start operations and realize customer projects in the clinical development phase on their way to approval.
During 2021, Rentschler Biopharma hired over 300 employees in a wide range of areas across all business functions. More than 200 of the new hires are located in Germany and about 80 in the US, with over ten hires at the company’s new cell and gene therapy facility in the UK.
Dr Frank Mathias, CEO of Rentschler Biopharma, said: “We can provide machines, bioreactors, software infrastructure and buildings. But at the end of the day, it is the employees who bring our value chain to life. Despite the challenges of the pandemic, we were able to, for example, contribute to the production of a vaccine against COVID-19 at an unprecedented speed and with the highest quality. In addition, we recently celebrated the groundbreaking of our new facility in the Greater Boston area, one of the biggest projects in the company’s history, to address the growing and changing needs of our US-based clients. With our new site in Stevenage, UK, we are taking on a dynamic and growing area of need in biopharma manufacturing, namely cell and gene therapies.”