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David Chang, WuXi AppTec

A 'love sto­ry': WuXi AppTec wraps UK-based CRO in­to its cell and gene ther­a­py unit

When WuXi AppTec, one of China’s largest contract research organizations, started working with UK-based Oxgene about a year ago, it was “love at first sight,” CEO David Chang jokes.

Oxgene, a roughly decade-old CRO focused on scalable gene therapy tech, began licensing some of their plasmid work to WuXi just over a year ago. And when that pilot went well, WuXi expressed interest in investing, Oxgene CEO Ryan Cawood said.

Avid Bioser­vices, with re­cent IPO and Covid-19 part­ner­ship in hand, launch­es 2nd phase of fa­cil­i­ty ex­pan­sion

California’s Avid Bioservices now has two simultaneous expansion projects underway as the CDMO’s projections for customer demand sparked the launch this week of the second phase of building out its Myford facility.

Avid expects construction on the second phase, which will be known as its Myford South facility to take 18 to 24 months to complete at a cost of roughly $45 million to $55 million, it said in a press release.

Joe Biden (Credit: Doug Mills/The New York Times/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Biden wants a re­view of the API sup­ply chain. Will that par­lay in­to an ef­fort to 'on­shore' drug man­u­fac­tur­ing?

When former President Donald J. Trump was voted out of office Nov. 2, his gung-ho effort to “onshore” drug manufacturing was left mostly up in the air. Joe Biden has been mostly mum on whether he would continue that effort, but a new executive order could provide a clue — at least in a few months.

In an order signed Wednesday, Biden demanded a 100-day governmental review of key supply chains, including for active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) used in American drugs.

Delphi Genetics

Catal­ent un­corks play in plas­mid DNA with buy­out of Bel­gian neigh­bor Del­phi, Mary­land ex­pan­sion launch

Driven by booming demand for cell and gene therapy contract work, Catalent has signed some big checks in the past few years to secure its place as CDMO No. 1 in that space. Now, the manufacturer is targeting plasmid DNA production to dive even deeper — and it didn’t have to search long for a good place to start.

Catalent unveiled plans to dive headfirst into plasmid DNA production with the purchase of Belgian CDMO Delphi Genetics as well as the launch of manufacturing services in that space at its Rockville, Maryland facility, the company said Tuesday.

Is­raeli API mak­er Wave­length buys up ma­jor­i­ty stake in In­di­an firm mak­ing drug start­ing ma­te­ri­als and in­ter­me­di­ates

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to challenge the global drug supply chain, nations are looking for new ways to enable native producers to continue scaling up. Now, an Israeli API maker is dropping a down payment into an Indian intermediates company to ramp up its own manufacturing base.

Wavelength Pharmaceuticals will pay an undisclosed sum to buy up a majority stake in Hyderabad’s Vanamali Organics, an Indian firm specializing in making drug intermediates and starting materials that will add to Wavelengths’ API contract manufacturing work, the company said in a release.

As­traZeneca looks to re­bound from pro­duc­tion de­lays for its Covid-19 vac­cine with new fill-fin­ish deal

The relationship between AstraZeneca and the EU has been on edge in recent weeks after production delays have scuttled rollout plans for the British drugmaker’s Covid-19 vaccine. Now, looking to squash worries its production can’t keep up with demand, AstraZeneca is bringing on a new partner it hopes can right the ship.

AstraZeneca has tapped Germany’s IDT Biologika to ramp up immediate production of its adenovirus-based Covid-19 vaccine, dubbed “Covid-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca,” and build long-term capacity to handle fill-finish work for the shot, the British drugmaker said Wednesday.

Lon­za of­floads spe­cial­ty in­gre­di­ents unit in $4.7B sale to Bain Cap­i­tal, Cin­ven in con­sol­i­da­tion around bio­phar­ma

With the biopharma CDMO market on a yearslong upswing, giant Lonza has looked to rework the game plan to keep its golden goose productive. After tinkering with its capsule offerings, the Swiss manufacturer will now offload an ingredients unit that was once one of its business pillars.

Lonza will sell its specialty ingredients business to Bain Capital and UK private equity firm Cinven for $4.67 billion as the contract manufacturer continues to consolidate its business around biopharma work and capsules, the company said Monday.

Fu­ji­film's CD­MO arm plots mas­sive $2B plant in the US for broad range of ther­a­peu­tics

Buoyed by interest from major Covid-19 vaccine makers for its viral-vector capabilities, Fujifilm’s CDMO arm has looked to rapidly build its US footprint to meet demand. Now, just days after unveiling plans for a new HQ in the Boston area, Fujifilm is putting down a massive down payment on another US site.

Fujifilm will spend $2 billion by 2025 to build a large-scale cell culture production plant near one of its existing facilities as the Japanese CDMO looks to expand and scale its US footprint. The newest plant will help boost Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies’ cumulative growth by 20% by March 2026, the company said.

Fu­ji­film's CD­MO carves foothold in Boston biotech hub with new HQ fo­cused on vi­ral vec­tors, gene ther­a­pies

On the heels of a red-letter year for contract manufacturers, Japan’s Fujifilm has seen its CDMO arm — Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies — earn interest from major Covid-19 vaccine makers for its viral-vector capabilities. Now, the drugmaker is looking to lock down its US footprint in the bustling Boston biotech hub.

Fujifilm will invest roughly $40 million (or 4 billion yen) in a new headquarters in the greater Boston area for its CDMO arm, which will also function as its third viral-vector manufacturing site.

Amid a busy year and new lead­er­ship, Lon­za looks to build bio­con­ju­gates ca­pac­i­ty with Swiss ex­pan­sion set for 2022

The year 2020 has been busy for contract manufacturers, a trend which is holding strong as an unprecedented 12 months draw to a close. Swiss CDMO Lonza, one of the biggest players in the field and under the recent leadership of Roche vet Pierre-Alain Ruffieux, has been at the forefront of that outsourcing boom, and now it’s looking to keep on growing for what could be an even busier future.

Buoyed by deals to produce 1 billion worldwide doses of Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine, Lonza announced an expansion Monday that will increase its production capacity 30% by the first half of 2022.