J. Kelly Ganjei, AmplifyBio CEO and president

Af­ter pri­vate and state in­vest­ment, Am­pli­fy­Bio plans to ex­pand to an­oth­er Colum­bus, OH lo­ca­tion

An Ohio-based biotech spin­out is gar­ner­ing even more in­vest­ment and space even af­ter on­ly be­ing around for about a year.

Am­pli­fy­Bio, a CRO and R&D biotech, has re­ceived a nine-fig­ure in­vest­ment to ex­pand its fa­cil­i­ties to a sec­ond lo­ca­tion in New Al­bany, a sub­urb of the state cap­i­tal of Colum­bus.

The com­pa­ny is re­ceiv­ing an in­vest­ment of around $150 mil­lion to es­tab­lish a new 350,000-square-foot fa­cil­i­ty. With this in­vest­ment, the com­pa­ny is al­so ex­pect­ed to cre­ate over 200 new jobs both at its new lo­ca­tion and at an ex­ist­ing lo­ca­tion in West Jef­fer­son, an­oth­er Colum­bus sub­urb. That lo­ca­tion, which has 220,000-square-feet of space for the young biotech, is the head­quar­ters for non­prof­it Bat­telle, which spun out Am­pli­fy­Bio last year.

Since then, the biotech has raised $200 mil­lion, which so far has been fo­cused on safe­ty, ef­fi­ca­cy and tox­i­col­o­gy test­ing drug can­di­dates, but cell and gene ther­a­pies are in the cards, as well. The com­pa­ny will be look­ing to hire re­search and de­vel­op­ment po­si­tions through­out the rest of the year, with its new lo­ca­tion hav­ing 130 new em­ploy­ees.

Ac­cord­ing to Am­pli­fy­Bio, its ex­pan­sion is meant to meet the in­creas­ing mar­ket de­mand for ad­vanced ther­a­pies, in­clud­ing cell and gene ther­a­py prod­ucts. The com­pa­ny’s ex­ist­ing lo­ca­tion in West Jef­fer­son con­tains a 30-acre cam­pus and cur­rent­ly em­ploys 155 peo­ple. The new in­vest­ment will see the cre­ation of 99 new jobs at that lo­ca­tion, in ad­di­tion to 32 new cor­po­rate jobs that will be added at a lo­ca­tion yet to be de­ter­mined.

Ac­cord­ing to the gov­er­nor’s of­fice, the new po­si­tions will gen­er­ate $24.1 mil­lion in new an­nu­al pay­roll and re­tain $7.8 mil­lion in ex­ist­ing pay­roll. The Ohio Tax Cred­it Au­thor­i­ty al­so ap­proved a 2.143%, 10-year Job Cre­ation Tax Cred­it for this project.

We are ex­cit­ed to ex­pand our pres­ence in the Colum­bus re­gion, and specif­i­cal­ly New Al­bany. We be­lieve that our in­no­va­tion plat­form is a per­fect fit for the col­lab­o­ra­tive en­vi­ron­ment that I first no­ticed when I came to Ohio,” said Am­pli­fy­Bio CEO and pres­i­dent J. Kel­ly Gan­jei in a state­ment.

The in­vestor base that launched the com­pa­ny, be­sides Bat­telle, in­clud­ed Con­necti­cut-based Viking Glob­al In­vestors, New York-based Cas­din Cap­i­tal and Cincin­nati-based Narya Cap­i­tal. Ac­cord­ing to the com­pa­ny, the in­vestor base has not changed and will be back­ing the ex­pan­sion project.

Colum­bus has been at­tract­ing some at­ten­tion from biotech in­vestors and large phar­ma com­pa­nies, in­clud­ing Forge Bi­o­log­ic, which raised a $120 mil­lion se­ries B in 2021 to bring on­line a 175,000-square-foot fa­cil­i­ty to man­u­fac­ture AAV gene ther­a­pies. Am­gen al­so broke ground on a $365 mil­lion man­u­fac­tur­ing fa­cil­i­ty in New Al­bany last year.

Vas Narasimhan (Photographer: Jason Alden/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

No­var­tis de­tails plans to axe 8,000 staffers as Narasimhan be­gins sec­ond phase of a glob­al re­org

We now know the number of jobs coming under the axe at Novartis, and it isn’t small.

The pharma giant is confirming a report from Swiss newspaper Tages-Anzeiger that it is chopping 8,000 jobs out of its 108,000 global staffers. A large segment will hit right at company headquarters in Basel, as CEO Vas Narasimhan axes some 1,400 of a little more than 11,000  jobs in Switzerland.

The first phase of the work is almost done, the company says in a statement to Endpoints News. Now it’s on to phase two. In the statement, Novartis says:

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Bob Nelsen (Lyell)

As bear mar­ket con­tin­ues to beat down biotech, ARCH clos­es a $3B ear­ly-stage fund

One of the biggest names in biotech investing has a whole lot of new money to spend.

ARCH Venture Partners closed its 12th venture fund early Wednesday morning, the firm said, bringing in almost $3 billion to invest in early-stage biotechs. The move comes about a year and a half after ARCH announced its previous fund, for almost $2 billion back in January 2021.

In a statement, ARCH managing director and co-founder Bob Nelsen appeared to brush off concerns about the broader market troubles, alluding to the downturn that’s seen several biotechs downsize and the XBI fall back to almost pre-pandemic levels.

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Sanofi to cut in­sulin prices for unin­sured from $99 to $35, match­ing the in­sulin cap com­ing through Con­gress

As the House-passed bill to cap the monthly price of insulin at $35 nationwide makes its way for a Senate vote soon, Sanofi announced Wednesday morning that beginning next month it will cut the monthly price of its insulins for uninsured Americans to $35, down from $99 previously.

The announcement from Sanofi, which allows the uninsured to buy one or multiple Sanofi insulins (Lantus, Insulin Glargine U-100, Toujeo, Admelog, and Apidra) at $35 for a 30-day supply effective July 1, follows House passage (232-193) of the monthly cap in March, with just 12 Republicans voting in favor of the measure.

Lina Gugucheva, NewAmsterdam Pharma CBO

Phar­ma group bets up to $1B-plus on the PhI­II res­ur­rec­tion of a once dead-and-buried LDL drug

Close to 5 years after then-Amgen R&D chief Sean Harper tamped the last spade of dirt on the last broadly focused CETP cholesterol drug — burying their $300 million upfront and the few remaining hopes for the class with it — the therapy has been fully resurrected. And today, the NewAmsterdam Pharma crew that did the Lazarus treatment on obicetrapib is taking another big step on the comeback trail with a €1 billion-plus regional licensing deal, complete with close to $150 million in upfront cash.

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How pre­pared is bio­phar­ma for the cy­ber dooms­day?

One of the largest cyberattacks in history happened on a Friday, Eric Perakslis distinctly remembers.

Perakslis, who was head of Takeda’s R&D Data Sciences Institute and visiting faculty at Harvard Medical School at the time, had spent that morning completing a review on cybersecurity for the British Medical Journal. Moments after he turned it in, he heard back from the editor: “Have you heard what’s going on right now?”

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Aurobindo Pharma co-founders P. V. Ram Prasad Reddy (L) and K. Nityananda Reddy

Au­robindo Phar­ma re­ceives warn­ing let­ter from In­di­a's SEC fol­low­ing more FDA ques­tion marks

Indian-based generics manufacturer Aurobindo Pharma has been in the crosshairs of the FDA for several years now, but the company is also attracting attention from regulators within the subcontinent.

According to the Indian business news site Business Standard, a warning letter was sent to the company from the Securities Exchange Board of India, or SEBI.

The letter is related to disclosures made by the company on an ongoing FDA audit of the company’s Unit-1 API facility in Hyderabad, India as well as observations made by the US regulator between 2019 and 2022.

New Charles River Laboratories High Quality (HQ) Plasmid DNA Centre of Excellence at Bruntwood SciTech’s Alderley Park in Cheshire, United Kingdom. (Charles River)

Charles Riv­er Lab­o­ra­to­ries to start cell and gene ther­a­py man­u­fac­tur­ing at UK site in Sep­tem­ber

While Massachusetts-based Charles River Laboratories has been on an acquisition spree, they are not against planting their flag. The latest move by the company sees them crossing the pond to establish a manufacturing site in the UK.

The company on Tuesday opened its cell and gene therapy manufacturing center at Bruntwood SciTech’s Alderley Park in Cheshire, United Kingdom. The expansion follows Charles River’s acquisition of Cognate BioServices and Cobra Biologics in 2021 for $875 million. Cognate is a plasmid DNA, viral vector and cell therapy CDMO.

Hank Safferstein, Generian CEO

Astel­las sub­sidiary to part­ner with Pitts­burgh up­start in search for 'un­drug­gable' pro­teins

As Astellas continues its drive to build out its gene therapy portfolio and capabilities, a subsidiary of the Japanese pharma company has entered into a collaboration with a little-known Pittsburgh biotech.

Astellas-owned Mitobridge and Generian Pharmaceuticals announced on Wednesday that they will work together in a new deal for “undruggable” protein targets. Generian will net an undisclosed upfront payment and could get up to $180 million in milestones, should anything from its platform prove successful, as well as single-digit royalties on global net sales.

Adam Simpson, Icosavax CEO

Reel­ing from Covid flop, Icosavax says its RSV can­di­date passed ear­ly test. But in­vestors need some more con­vinc­ing

Three months separated from a disappointing readout of its Covid-19 vaccine, Icosavax is back with what it calls positive topline data for a different VLP vaccine candidate — although investors aren’t impressed.

IVX-121, a vaccine candidate for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), appeared to generate “robust” immune responses among both young and older adults, as measured by neutralizing antibodies, and appeared generally well-tolerated, Icosavax reported.