BioProcess Insider

Fujifilm Adds Automated Filler for Late-Stage Gene Therapies at Texas Plant

Recent gene therapy approvals have driven the demand for third-party services, says Fujifilm as it expands fill & finish capabilities at its recently opened site. In January 2018, Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies opened an 80,000 sq-ft facility in College Station, Texas, for the manufacture of gene therapies. This week, the contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) has expanded the plant to support the fill & finish of Phase III and commercial products by adding a Vanrx Pharmasystems’ SA25 automated filler. “We…

Gilead Flies a Kite for ZFN Gene Editing Tech Over CRISPR

Gilead’s CSO spoke about its choice of zinc finger nuclease (ZFN) for ex-vivo gene editing at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Healthcare Conference. In February, Kite Pharma – acquired by Gilead Sciences for US$11.9 billion in last August – struck a deal to use Sangamo Therapeutic’s ZFN technology to modify genes in the development of its autologous and allogeneic cell therapies. Kite/Gilead paid $150 million up front to the fellow Californian firm but Sangamo could be entitled to a…

Novartis Building $55m gene therapy plant, Creating 200 Jobs in NC

A week after buying AveXis, Novartis has announced plans to build a gene therapy manufacturing facility in Durham, North Carolina. On May 15, Swiss Biopharma Novartis confirmed the completion of the US$8.7 billion (€7.4 billion) acquisition of clinical stage gene therapy firm AveXis. A week later, Novartis has unveiled plans for a $55 million gene therapy production plant in Durham, North Carolina to support AveXis’ gene therapy pipeline targeting rare neurological genetic diseases. AveXis’ lead candidate AVXS-101, in development for…

WuXi Biologics: Zero to 220,000L of Capacity in 10 Years

WuXi Biologics has invested US$60 million to build a biomanufacturing facility in Singapore. By 2022, the CDMO will have 10 plants – an achievement it attributes to disposable and modular technologies. WuXi Biologics has announced plans to add a S$80 million (US$60 million) clinical and commercial biologics manufacturing in Singapore to its growing global network. When operational, the site will boast 4,500 L biomanufacturing capacity comprised of two 2,000 L traditional fed-batch and one 500 L perfusion based continuous processing…

Novasep Invests in Belgian Fill & Finish Site; Cites Lack of Global Capacity

The tension on the market surrounding the lack of fill & finish capabilities is ‘visible,’ says Novasep as it pumps US$12 million into a site in Belgium. The investment at Novasep’s site in Seneffe, Belgium will support the fill & finish for viral vectors, mAbs and other low-volume biologics. According to Laure Saloin, a spokesperson from the French life sciences services firm, the €10 million (US$11.8 million) spend supports the “one-stop-shop approach for our monoclonal antibodies and our viral-vectors bulk…

Biogen Paying $650m to Up Stake in Samsung Bioepis

Biogen has opted to increase its control in biosimilar venture Samsung Bioepis to 49.5%, according to partner Samsung BioLogics. Biogen sent South Korean biomanufacturer Samsung BioLogics a letter last week declaring its intention to increase its stake in the firms’ joint venture Samsung Bioepis from 5.4% to 49.5%. According to Samsung BioLogics, Biogen will pay around 700 billion Won (US$650 million) for an additional 44.6% stake in the JV, with the deal expected to take two to three months to…

Coherus Resubmits Neulasta Biosimilar, Aims for November Approval

With successful preapproval inspections at its manufacturing sites, Coherus BioSciences is confident its CHS-1701 pegfilgrastim biosimilar will be approved by the end of the year. In 2017, California-based Coherus received a US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) complete response letter (CRL) for its version of Amgen’s Neulasta (pegfilgrastim), CHS-1701. The CRL requested a reanalysis of a subset of subject samples with a revised immunogenicity assay, along with additional manufacturing related process information. Earlier this month, Coherus announced it resubmitted its…

Multi-Media Player: GE Invests in EU and US Plants to Tap $1.4bn Market

The increased demand for cell growth media from biomanufacturers has driven capacity expansions at sites in Utah and Austria, says GE Healthcare. Globally, GE Healthcare has cell culture media production in Tuas (Singapore), Pasching (Austria), and Logan (Utah, US). To support growing demand from the biopharma industry, the life sciences firm has announced capacity expansions at the two latter plants. “Cell culture media is the fastest growing segment within the cell culture market and it was valued at US$1.4 billion in…

Gilead to Open European Plant to Support CAR-T Manufacture

The site near Amsterdam, The Netherlands will be Gilead Sciences/Kite’s third manufacturing facility to support production of its cell therapies. “The site in Hoofddorp will be Kite’s manufacturing base in Europe, enabling Kite to efficiently manufacture and deliver its cell therapies to people living with cancer in Europe,” Gilead spokesperson Sarah Swift told BioProcess Insider. When operational in 2020, the 117,000 ft2 site will provide 300 new jobs. Gilead Sciences entered the cell therapy space last August through the US$11.9…

Collaboration Aims to Address Large DNA Plasmid Scale-Up Issues

CDMO Biomay has teamed with BIA Separations to tackle bottlenecks in the cell lysis and purification stages of large DNA plasmid production. Chromatographic column maker BIA Separations will work with Biomay to develop a high yield and purity manufacturing process for ‘large’ plasmid DNA used for therapeutic application. Large plasmids are commonly used as starting materials for manufacturing of viral gene therapy vectors, said Hans Huber, COO of Biomay. “For instance, manufacturing of the adeno-associated viral vector system (AAV) requires three…