Bushu plans $100 million expansion for pharmaceutical inspection facility; RUCDR breaks away from Rutgers University, relaunches as IBX
In an effort to become an “Asia hub” for pharmaceutical inspection and distribution, contract manufacturer Bushu Pharmaceuticals is pouring $100 million into the expansion of its Misato, Japan plant over the next 5 years.
Bushu is nearly done building its 42,000-square-foot cold chain warehouse in Misato. Upgrades include 8 new packaging lines, new inspection stations, and IT improvements to its production automation and laboratory information management systems. When construction is complete, the company will have 12 inspection stations for pre-filled syringes, and 7 stations each for liquid vials and lyophilized vials. In total, 23 stations will be “supported by cameras.”
“We are excited about our capital expansion plans,” Bushu COO Tadao Takano said in a prepared statement. “Our Asia hub strategy is coming to life. The added space and additional inspection lines will allow us to bring more of our client’s bulk products into the country, which will make their logistics and supply chain systems much more efficient.” — Nicole DeFeudis
Infinity BiologiX spins off from Rutgers University
RUCDR Infinite Biologics broke away from Rutgers University on Wednesday, and relaunched as Infinity BiologiX (IBX). The company will still conduct regenerative medicine and oncology research at the Rutgers campus — but it’s now financially independent.
Rutgers University approved the sale of RUCDR in June. Andrew Brooks, an adjunct professor at Rutgers and former RUCDR COO, will remain at the helm as IBX CEO and CSO. RUCDR alums Robin Grimwood and Russell Hager will serve as president and COO, and executive VP of strategic operations, respectively. Viking Global Investors contributed a “significant infusion of growth capital,” according to the company.
In May, RUCDR became the first to get a EUA for a saliva-based Covid-19 test — a method that Brooks touted as “quicker and more scalable” than nasal swabbing. The company has since developed an at-home saliva-based test with partners Spectrum Solutions and Accurate Diagnostic Labs.
“The transition to IBX enables us to scale and innovate at a pace which will increase our footprint both here in the U.S. and abroad. RUCDR has made a profound impact in academia and industry in the areas of genomics, biological sciences, and medicine. We now look forward to the immense opportunity ahead as an organization independent from Rutgers while maintaining our core academic drive and mission,” Grimwood said in a prepared statement. — Nicole DeFeudis
Rakuten acquires catheter producer to shore up supply chain
Rakuten Medical, a biotech focusing on a form of cancer therapy known as photoimmunotherapy, has acquired a company that produces and commercializes a large range of catheters.
The biotech announced the acquisition of Medlight SA on Wednesday morning, emphasizing the need to ensure access to a supply chain vital to the development of diagnostics and therapeutic light technologies. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Wednesday’s deal also brings Medlight’s network of subcontractors for optical devices on board and gives Rakuten more comprehensive oversight of its developmental supply chain.
Rakuten’s lead program is dubbed ASP-1929, which received fast track designation from the FDA. The candidate is an antibody-drug conjugate comprised of the antibody cetuximab, which binds to epidermal growth factor receptors, and a dye that locally activates the antibody through a non-thermal red light emitted via laser. ASP-1929 is currently in Phase III for the treatment of recurring head and neck cancers. — Max Gelman