Ace­to keeps up spend­ing spree with ac­qui­si­tion of Ire­land's A&C

Last April, when Ace­to ac­quired Biore­agent, CEO Gilles Cot­ti­er wasn’t able to greet any of his new col­leagues in per­son. But Tues­day, 18 months and four ac­qui­si­tions lat­er, he was in Ire­land, meet­ing mem­bers of the A&C Bio Buffer, just as his com­pa­ny an­nounced it bought out the CMO.

Gilles Cot­ti­er

The New York-based man­u­fac­tur­er ac­quired A&C Bio Buffer to help boost its Covid-19 re­lief ef­forts and ex­pand its wingspan with­in man­u­fac­tur­ing, the com­pa­ny an­nounced Tues­day.

A&C man­u­fac­tures bi­o­log­i­cal buffers — which are an or­gan­ic sub­stance that main­tains a con­stant pH lev­el — process and clean­ing so­lu­tions, and wa­ter for in­jec­tion at its Lim­er­ick, Ire­land site. It’s the sixth ac­qui­si­tion Ace­to has made in the past 2 years. The move comes just months af­ter Ace­to picked up A&C group, which A&C Bio Buffer was for­mer­ly a part of. And though Cot­ti­er is not ready to dis­close just what the com­pa­ny’s next moves are, it isn’t done with merg­ers and ac­qui­si­tions just yet.

Fi­nan­cial terms of the deal were not dis­closed.

“We are proud of A&C Bio Buffer’s out­stand­ing rep­u­ta­tion for qual­i­ty and cus­tomer ser­vice, and its emer­gence as a lead­ing spe­cial­ty man­u­fac­tur­er of GMP cus­tom buffers and chem­i­cal blend prod­ucts for the bio­phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal in­dus­try,” A&C CEO John God­frey said in a press re­lease. “We are de­light­ed that our unique ca­pa­bil­i­ties, Eu­ro­pean foot­print and cus­tom prod­ucts are be­ing in­cor­po­rat­ed in­to Acute, as we con­tin­ue our evo­lu­tion as a dy­nam­ic new so­lu­tions provider to the glob­al phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal sec­tor.”

The com­pa­ny has been grow­ing quick­ly, while play­ing a key role in sup­ply­ing raw ma­te­ri­als for the Covid-19 vac­cines.

In June, Ace­to an­nounced that it ac­quired Cas­cade Chem­istry, a Eu­gene, Ore­gon-based CD­MO that makes ac­tive phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal in­gre­di­ents. In May, Ace­to ac­quired Fi­nar Lim­it­ed, a New York dis­trib­u­tor, and Biore­agent in April. In De­cem­ber 2020 it took on IsleChem and its con­tract R&D an­a­lyt­i­cal ser­vices. The ac­qui­si­tions add to its al­ready-es­tab­lished man­u­fac­tur­ing op­er­a­tions in Chi­na, In­dia and Eu­rope, in ad­di­tion to North Amer­i­ca.

While that growth will not go on for­ev­er, it is cer­tain­ly here now, and Ace­to has set it­self up to be a key play­er in vac­ci­na­tion ef­forts.

“Each of these dif­fer­ent com­pa­nies is a dif­fer­ent build­ing block, some are more small mol­e­cule ori­ent­ed,” Cot­ti­er said in an in­ter­view with End­points News. “A&C is re­al­ly a crit­i­cal part for up­stream and down­stream for the bio­phar­ma in­dus­try. “

Biotech and Big Phar­ma: A blue­print for a suc­cess­ful part­ner­ship

Strategic partnerships have long been an important contributor to how drugs are discovered and developed. For decades, big pharma companies have been forming alliances with biotech innovators to increase R&D productivity, expand geographical reach and better manage late-stage commercialization costs.

Noël Brown, Managing Director and Head of Biotechnology Investment Banking, and Greg Wiederrecht, Ph.D., Managing Director in the Global Healthcare Investment Banking Group at RBC Capital Markets, are no strangers to the importance of these tie-ups. Noël has over 20 years of investment banking experience in the industry. Before moving to the banking world in 2015, Greg was the Vice President and Head of External Scientific Affairs (ESA) at Merck, where he was responsible for the scientific assessment of strategic partnership opportunities worldwide.

No­var­tis' sec­ond at­tempt to repli­cate a stun­ning can­cer re­sult falls flat

Novartis’ hopes of turning one of the most surprising trial data points of the last decade into a lung cancer drug has taken another setback.

The Swiss pharma announced Monday that its IL-1 inhibitor canakinumab did not significantly extend the lives or slow the disease progression of patients with previously untreated locally advanced or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer when compared to standard of-care alone.

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How Chi­na turned the ta­bles on bio­phar­ma's glob­al deal­mak­ing

Fenlai Tan still gets chills thinking about the darkest day of his life.

Three out of eight lung cancer patients who received a tyrosine kinase inhibitor developed by his company, Betta Pharma, died in the span of a month. Tan, the chief medical officer, was summoned to Peking Union Medical College Hospital, where the head of the clinical trial department told him that the trial investigators would be conducting an autopsy to see if the patients had died of the disease — they were all very sick by the time they enrolled — or of interstitial lung disease, a deadly side effect tied to the TKI class that’s been reported in Japan.

Vas Narasimhan, Novartis CEO (Simon Dawson/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

With San­doz con­tin­u­ing to drag on No­var­tis, Vas Narasimhan says he may fi­nal­ly be ready for a sale or spin­off

After years of rehab work aimed at getting Sandoz in fighting trim to compete in a market overshadowed by declining prices, CEO Vas Narasimhan took a big step toward possibly selling or spinning off the giant generic drug player.

The pharma giant flagged plans to launch a strategic review of the business in its Q3 update, noting that “options range from retaining the business to separation.”

Analysts have been poking and prodding Novartis execs for years now as Narasimhan attempted to remodel a business that has been a drag on its performance during most of his reign in the CEO suite. The former R&D chief has made it well known that he’s devoted to the innovative meds side of the business, where they see the greatest potential for growth.

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Ugur Sahin, AP Images

As pres­sure to share tech­nol­o­gy mounts, BioN­Tech se­lects Rwan­da for lat­est vac­cine site

BioNTech’s first mRNA-based vaccine site in Africa will call Rwanda home, and construction is set to start in mid-2022, the company announced Tuesday at a public health forum.

The German company signed a memorandum of understanding, after a meeting between Rwanda’s Minister of Health, Daniel Ngamije, Senegal’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Aïssata Tall Sall, and senior BioNTech officials. Construction plans have been finalized, and assets have been ordered. The agreement will help bring end-to-end manufacturing to Africa, and as many as several hundred million doses of vaccines per year, though initial production will be more modest.

No­var­tis dumps AveX­is pro­gram for Rett syn­drome af­ter fail­ing re­peat round of pre­clin­i­cal test­ing

Say goodbye to AVXS-201.

The Rett syndrome gene therapy drug made by AveXis — the biotech that was bought, kept separate, then renamed and finally absorbed by Novartis into its R&D division — has been dropped by the biopharma.

In Novartis’ third quarter financial report, the pharma had found that preclinical data did not support development of the gene therapy into IND-enabling trials and beyond. The announcement comes a year after Novartis told the Rett Society how excited it was by the drug — and its potential benefits and uses.

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Peter Nell, Mammoth Biosciences CBO

UP­DAT­ED: Jen­nifer Doud­na spin­out inks a Mam­moth CRISPR deal with Ver­tex worth near­ly $700M

When a company gets its start in gene editing pioneer Jennifer Doudna’s lab, it’s bound to make headlines. But three years in, the fanfare still hasn’t died down for Mammoth Biosciences. Now, the Brisbane, CA-based company is cheering on its first major R&D pact.

Mammoth unveiled a nearly $700 million deal with Vertex on Tuesday morning, good for the development of in vivo gene therapies for two mystery diseases. The stars of the show are Mammoth’s ultra-small CRISPR systems, including two Cas enzymes licensed from Doudna’s lab over the past couple years, Cas14 and Casɸ.

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Hamza Suria, AnaptysBio CEO

The biotech be­hind Glax­o­SmithK­line's PD-1 just scored a $250M cash deal for roy­al­ties

With Merck and Bristol Myers Squibb still dominating the PD-(L)1 space and the threat of lower-cost options coming from behind, is there still room for GlaxoSmithKline’s checkpoint inhibitor — the seventh to market — to make billions? For Sagard Healthcare Royalty Partners, the answer is yes.

Sagard has plumped down $250 million in cash to buy out the 8% royalty AnaptysBio owns on Jemperli sales below $1 billion.

FDA is much worse than its reg­u­la­to­ry peers at proac­tive­ly dis­clos­ing da­ta, re­searchers find

The European Medicines Agency and Health Canada continue to outpace the FDA when it comes to proactively releasing data on drugs and biologics the agency has reviewed, leading to further questions of why the American agency can’t be more transparent.

In a study published recently in the Journal of Law, Medicine, & Ethics, Yale and other academic lawyers and researchers found that between 2016 and April 2021, the EMA proactively released data for 123 unique medical products, while Health Canada proactively released data for 73 unique medical products between 2019 and April 2021. What’s more, the EMA and Health Canada didn’t proactively release the same data on the same drugs. In stark contrast, the FDA in 2018 only proactively disclosed data supporting one drug that was approved that year.

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