Marc Funk, Recipharm CEO

Af­ter a year of big in­vest­ments, Re­ci­pharm sells off as­sets in Eu­rope

Re­ci­pharm is hav­ing a yard sale to start the new year.

The com­pa­ny an­nounced a pair of deals Mon­day, as the Swedish biotech sold its Fontaine-lès-Di­jon, France man­u­fac­tur­ing site to a new­ly-es­tab­lished CD­MO As­trea Phar­ma. It al­so sold Aesi­ca Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals and the ac­tive phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal in­gre­di­ent man­u­fac­tur­ing site in the UK to Phar­maron.

The sale will help stream­line Re­ci­pharm op­er­a­tions, and help its fi­nan­cial po­si­tion as it tries to break in­to a po­si­tion as a top-five CD­MO, CEO Marc Funk said in state­ments.

“We see it as a pos­i­tive step in stream­lin­ing our op­er­a­tions and con­sol­i­dat­ing our po­si­tion as a top five glob­al Con­tract De­vel­op­ment and Man­u­fac­tur­ing Or­gan­i­sa­tion,” he said of the As­trea deal. “I am pleased that this busi­ness will get a com­mit­ted own­er with the ca­pac­i­ty and ca­pa­bil­i­ty to de­vel­op it to its full po­ten­tial. We will con­tin­ue to de­vel­op and in­vest in our high­ly suc­cess­ful con­tract man­u­fac­tur­ing busi­ness.”

As­trea Phar­ma is in the mid­dle of build­ing up its man­u­fac­tur­ing net­work and of­fer­ings. The com­pa­ny plans more ac­qui­si­tions down the line. The Cram­ling­ton site in New­cas­tle, UK, has 1,076 square-feet worth of com­mer­cial ca­pac­i­ty, ap­proved by the MHRA and FDA among oth­er reg­u­la­to­ry agen­cies. It’s the first in­vest­ment by As­trea, as the CD­MO provider was just re­cent­ly es­tab­lished by a team of well-es­tab­lished vet­er­ans in the in­dus­try.

Mean­while, Phar­maron is in a sim­i­lar boat and is look­ing to bol­ster its al­ready ex­ist­ing API man­u­fac­tur­ing op­er­a­tions at Hod­des­don as it tries of­fer com­plete end-to-end ser­vices in the UK. This sale will al­low the com­pa­ny to pro­vide clients with more cus­tomiz­able op­tions.

Re­ci­pharm is ex­pand­ing its man­u­fac­tur­ing rapid­ly in re­gions of the world that need it. In Ju­ly 2021, the com­pa­ny an­nounced the con­struc­tion of a new fill-fin­ish fa­cil­i­ty in Ut­tarak­hand, In­dia near Dehradun, as a part of a part­ner­ship with the Sobti fam­i­ly that start­ed in 2019.

It’s al­so build­ing a fill-fin­ish fac­to­ry in Mo­roc­co, thanks large­ly to a $500 mil­lion in­vest­ment from the gov­ern­ment over the next five years. That site will fo­cus on mak­ing vac­cines for Africa, which has fall­en be­hind in in­ter­na­tion­al vac­ci­na­tion ef­forts sig­nif­i­cant­ly. It will be de­signed to mir­ror the Monts, France lo­ca­tion and is sched­uled to be good to go by 2023.

Sanofi sold off its UK res­pi­ra­to­ry drug man­u­fac­tur­ing site to Re­ci­pharm in June in a $60 mil­lion deal. Re­ci­pharm took on all of the plant’s 450 staff mem­bers.

Ed­i­tor’s Note: For more news and ex­clu­sive cov­er­age from the man­u­fac­tur­ing beat, sub­scribe to the End­points Man­u­fac­tur­ing week­ly re­port in your read­er pro­file.

Graphic: Alexander Lefterov for Endpoints News

Small biotechs with big drug am­bi­tions threat­en to up­end the tra­di­tion­al drug launch play­book

Of the countless decisions Vlad Coric had to make as Biohaven’s CEO over the past seven years, there was one that felt particularly nerve-wracking: Instead of selling to a Big Pharma, the company decided it would commercialize its migraine drug itself.

“I remember some investors yelling and pounding on the table like, you can’t do this. What are you thinking? You’re going to get crushed by AbbVie,” he recalled.

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Mar­ket­ingRx roundup: Pfiz­er de­buts Pre­vnar 20 TV ads; Lil­ly gets first FDA 2022 pro­mo slap down let­ter

Pfizer debuted its first TV ad for its Prevnar 20 next-generation pneumococcal pneumonia vaccine. In the 60-second spot, several people (actor portrayals) with their ages listed as 65 or older are shown walking into a clinic as they turn to say they’re getting vaccinated with Prevnar 20 because they’re at risk.

The update to Pfizer’s blockbuster Prevnar 13 vaccine was approved in June, and as its name suggests is a vaccine for 20 serotypes — the original 13 plus seven more that cause pneumococcal disease. Pfizer used to spend heavily on TV ads to promote Prevnar 13 in 2018 and 2019 but cut back its TV budgets in the past two fall and winter seasonal spending cycles. Prevnar had been Pfizer’s top-selling drug, notching sales of just under $6 billion in 2020, and was the world’s top-selling vaccine before the Covid-19 vaccines came to market last year.

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Albert Bourla (Photo by Steven Ferdman/Getty Images)

UP­DAT­ED: Pfiz­er fields a CRL for a $295M rare dis­ease play, giv­ing ri­val a big head start

Pfizer won’t be adding a new rare disease drug to the franchise club — for now, anyway.

The pharma giant put out word that their FDA application for the growth hormone therapy somatrogon got the regulatory heave-ho, though they didn’t even hint at a reason for the CRL. Following standard operating procedure, Pfizer said in a terse missive that they would be working with regulators on a followup.

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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File)

Opin­ion: Flori­da is so mAb crazy, Ron De­San­tis wants to use mAbs that don't work

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is trying so hard to politicize the FDA and demonize the federal government that he entered into an alternate universe on Monday evening in describing a recent FDA action to restrict the use of two monoclonal antibody, or mAb, treatments for Covid-19 that don’t work against Omicron.

Without further ado, let’s break down his statement from last night, line by line, adjective by adjective.

Alexander Lefterov/Endpoints News

A new can­cer im­munother­a­py brings cau­tious hope for a field long await­ing the next big break­through

Bob Seibert sat silent across from his daughter at their favorite Spanish restaurant near his home in Charleston County, SC, their paella growing cold as he read through all the places in his body doctors found tumors.

He had texted his wife, a pediatric intensive care nurse, when he got the alert that his online chart was ready. Although he saw immediately it was bad, many of the terms — peritoneal, right iliac — were inscrutable. But she was five hours downstate, at a loud group dinner the night before another daughter’s cheer competition.

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Not cheap­er by the dozen: Bris­tol My­ers be­comes the 12th phar­ma com­pa­ny to re­strict 340B sales

Bristol Myers Squibb recently joined 11 of its peer pharma companies in limiting how many contract pharmacies can access certain drugs discounted by a federal program known as 340B.

Bristol Myers is just the latest in a series of high-profile pharma companies moving in their own direction as the Biden administration’s Health Resources and Services Administration struggles to rein in the drug discount program for the neediest Americans.

Joaquin Duato, J&J CEO (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

New J&J CEO Joaquin Du­a­to promis­es an ag­gres­sive M&A hunt in quest to grow phar­ma sales

Joaquin Duato stepped away from the sideline and directly into the spotlight on Tuesday, delivering his first quarterly review for J&J as its newly-tapped CEO after an 11-year run in senior posts. And he had some mixed financial news to deliver today while laying claim to a string of blockbuster drugs in the making and outlining an appetite for small and medium-sized M&A deals.

Duato also didn’t exactly shun large buyouts when asked about the future of the company’s medtech business — where they look to be in either the top or number 2 position in every segment they’re in — even though the bar for getting those deals done is so much higher.

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Amgen's Twitter campaign #DearAsthma inspired thousands of people to express struggles and frustrations with the disease

Am­gen’s #Dear­Asth­ma spon­sored tweet lands big on game day, spark­ing thou­sands to re­spond

Amgen wanted to know how people with asthma really felt about daily life with the disease. So it bought a promoted tweet on Twitter noting the not-so-simple realities of life with asthma and ended the post with a #DearAsthma hashtag, a megaphone emoji and a re-tweet button.

That was just over one week ago and the responses haven’t stopped. More than 7,000 posts so far on Twitter replied to #DearAsthma to detail struggles of daily life, expressing humor, frustration and sometimes anger. More than a few f-bombs have been typed or gif-ed in reply to communicate just how much many people “hate” the disease.

Nabiha Saklayen, Cellino co-founder and CEO (via Cellino)

Backed by Bay­er's Leaps, Boston-based Celli­no lands $80M for cell ther­a­py-in-box

The summer before Cellino CEO and co-founder Nabiha Saklayen started at Harvard, she lost her grandmother following complications to diabetes. Before then, she hadn’t taken a biology class since ninth or tenth grade — the mark of a classic physicist — but it was then she decided she wanted the rest to sit at the intersection of the two for the rest of her career

Combine that with being across the way from the University’s stem cell institute in Cambridge, and you get the birth of Cellino, an autonomous cell therapy manufacturing company that just announced the closing of its Series A.