CDMO round-up: AGC Bio, Lonza, and Exothera deals

ABL Bio has selected Lonza; AGC Biologics has signed a service agreement; Remedium Bio has picked Exothera.

Millie Nelson, Editor

April 12, 2023

3 Min Read
CDMO round-up: AGC Bio, Lonza, and Exothera deals
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ABL Bio has selected Lonza to support its bispecific antibody candidate; AGC Biologics has signed a service agreement with The Jikei University in Japan; Remedium Bio has picked Exothera to support the manufacturing process for its lead candidate. Great to have you here for BioProcess Insider’s CDMO round-up.

First up in our contract development manufacturing organization (CDMO) round-up is Swiss company Lonza, which Korean biologics firm ABL Bio recently selected to support the development and production of its bispecific antibody product.

Under the terms of the partnership, Lonza will provide ABL Bio with a solution offering to aid its bispecific antibody candidate from DNA through to potential Investigational New Drug (IND) application. Additionally, ABL Bio will be given access to the CDMO’s DNA-to-IND program, which has been designed to advance the pathway to the clinic and help develop a scalable manufacturing process.


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“With the biologics pipeline evolving towards more complex protein formats, bi- and multi-specific molecules are a growing part of Lonza’s portfolio,” Jean-Christophe Hyvert, president of biologics, Lonza said.

“For more than 35 years, our teams have built extensive experience and capabilities in this area, and we are committed to supporting our customers on their unique journey to IND. This collaboration will provide ABL Bio with greater flexibility and speed on the path to commercialization. We look forward to working together to bring this innovative therapeutic antibody candidate one step closer to patients.”

The work will take place at Lonza’s site in Slough, UK and will use its GS Xceed Expression System which includes GS PiggyBac, a transposon-based gene integration technology can support the expression of bispecific and other difficult-to-express proteins.

AGC Biologics

Up second, we have CDMO AGC Biologics, which has signed an agreement with The Jikei University in Japan to do a technology transfer and feasibility study for a drug product used to treat idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IDF). The work will take place at AGC’s cell and gene therapy center located in Milan, Italy.

“The emerging field of exosomes has the potential to become an important part of the cell and gene industry,” said Luca Alberici, general manager of AGC Biologics Milan.

“We welcome the opportunity to help further the important work of The Jikei University in Japan, a historic research and medical institute in the field of medicine. This partnership demonstrates AGC Biologics’ ability to offer the scientific ingenuity and support researchers and developers need as they explore new therapies and methods within this field.”

The feasibility study will focus on identifying proof of concept and practicality for advancing a prototype for an exosome-based treatment for IPF derived from bronchial epithelial cells. Research conducted at The Jikei University School of Medicine has disclosed extracellular vesicles taken from a bronchial epithelial cell can possibly play a pivotal role in IPF pathogenesis.


Last, but certainly not least, is CDMO Exothera. The firm has entered into an agreement to carry out a proof of concept for transient expression of Remedium’s lead asset, AAV2-FGF18, which is an adeno-associated virus (AAV) modifying treatment for Osteoarthritis (OA).

The proof of concept for transient expression is based on a HEK-293 cell line and Exothera will aim to establish a high yield manufacturing process that reduces the cost of goods for the production of Remedium’s AAV2-FGF18.

“It is wonderful to engage in a new challenge to apply the exoREADY platform to a first-in-class gene therapy for Osteoarthritis. We have already achieved promising results with other AAV-based gene therapies, and we are confident that we can play our part in making a better life for patients,” said Hanna Lesch, chief technology officer at Exothera.

About the Author(s)

Millie Nelson

Editor, BioProcess Insider

Journalist covering global biopharmaceutical manufacturing and processing news and host of the Voices of Biotech podcast.

I am currently living and working in London but I grew up in Lincolnshire (UK) and studied in Newcastle (UK).

Got a story? Feel free to email me at [email protected]

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