AmplifyBio scoops up lab space and other assets from PACT Pharma as cell therapy biotech readjusts
The West Coast cell therapy biotech PACT Pharma was facing some challenges after several employees got the axe from the company and execs put the kibosh on its only clinical trial. Now, the company has sold some of its assets to an Ohio-based contract research organization.
AmplifyBio has acquired a 46,280 square-foot lab in South San Francisco, CA, with around 40 employees specializing in cell and gene therapy development and access to technology platforms that can be applied to “product characterization.”
In an interview with Endpoints News, AmplifyBio CEO J. Kelly Ganjei said that he is bullish on acquiring some of PACT’s assets since the company’s goal had been to create personalized therapies for each patient. That those capabilities come with some of PACT’s team, which has experience in crafting hundreds of personalized products, is perfect for AmplifyBio’s line of work.
Ganjei said that the move gives AmplifyBio a team of people to push more into the cell therapy space. The team has effectively made hundreds of personalized therapies and has deep know-how to characterize products.
“So, we wanted to enable our clients to not only be able to know what it is that they’re making from a pharmacokinetics perspective, but also really follow the biology of what it is that they’re developing,” Ganjei told Endpoints. “And so, what better way to do that than to acquire the people and technologies and capabilities sets that PACT has developed over time that is highly specific to product characterization, very deep immunology experience, and capability.”
The acquisition hasn’t bought out PACT outright, as it will be able to keep some of its intellectual property and continue its work in the T-cell space, PACT’s CEO Scott Garland said in a statement.
While no financial details on the deal were disclosed to Endpoints, Ganjei said that the assets will be applied to the company almost immediately and have customers lined up that will use AmplifyBio’s characterization services, specifically for TCR and CAR-T products.
Ganjei also said that the company plans to add more employees to its new space in South San Francisco and sees that headcount doubling in the near term, but no major specifics were disclosed.
AmplifyBio has been on an upswing this year as the Battelle spinout began to establish a new 350,000 square-foot facility in the Columbus, OH suburb of New Albany. It also previously raised $200 million and has been focused on safety, efficacy and toxicology in testing drug candidates.