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Vectura headquarters in Chippenham, UK (Vectura)

Vec­tura leans in­to new role as in­hala­tion CD­MO post-asth­ma flop with plant ex­pan­sion

Two years after its leading asthma therapy flopped in a Phase III study, the UK’s Vectura switched gears to focus on manufacturing inhalable drugs for other biopharma companies. Now, it’s doubling down on that manufacturing angle with a new expansion at its UK production facilities.

Vectura unveiled this week an expansion of its capabilities to handle and develop highly potent active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) at its headquarters in Chippenham, England. The project will include installing six new containment isolators, which will house development manufacturing equipment for dispensing, blending, co-milling, jet-milling, spray-drying and blister-fill packaging — turning the facility into a newly-modeled product development manufacturing lab.

A rendering of Thermo Fisher's new standalone, 130,000 square-foot facility to be built in Greenville, NC (Thermo Fisher)

Look­ing for an edge in vac­cines, Ther­mo Fish­er plots ma­jor ex­pan­sions across glob­al man­u­fac­tur­ing sites in its port­fo­lio

In a big year for contract manufacturers, Massachusetts’ Thermo Fisher Scientific has emerged as a leading partner for drugmakers fighting the Covid-19 pandemic, particularly in diagnostics and therapeutics. Now, buoyed by that success and looking to scale up its vaccine offerings, Thermo Fisher is plotting big expansion across its global portfolio.

Thermo Fisher will expand its facilities in Greenville, NC; Ferentino and Monza, Italy; and Swindon, England, to expand its range of offerings for customers”whether it’s an emerging biotech working on a vaccine for a novel virus or a high-volume pharmaceutical manufacturer delivering necessary medicines at scale,” a spokesperson told Endpoints News.

Pe­ter Thiel's Palan­tir scores con­tract with the FDA to speed up reg­u­la­to­ry re­views as de­lays keep grow­ing

Peter Thiel, the billionaire libertarian who quietly backed away in 2020 from his once-ardent support of President Donald Trump, is no stranger to government contracts. His company Palantir has secured dozens of contracts with the feds and now has another big fish on the hook.

Palantir, the Denver-based data and analytics company Thiel co-founded in 2003, entered into an agreement this week with the FDA as the government agency struggles to keep up with a surge of regulatory approval needs due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Seat­tle's AGC plots $194M in­vest­ment to dou­ble pro­duc­tion at Copen­hagen site in busy year for bi­o­log­ics

Biologics manufacturing is an expensive and complicated process — but that hasn’t stopped some of the biopharma industry’s biggest players from making big splashes in recent years. Now, a Seattle-based CDMO is dropping a major down payment to double its presence in the field.

Citing an increased demand from global partners, Seattle-based AGC Biologics will pour $194 million into fleshing out its biologics manufacturing at its Copenhagen site, the company said late last month. The roughly 204,000-square-foot expansion in a new building will allow the global CDMO to double its capacity for work with single-use bioreactor mammalian cell-cultures.

Dirk Lange (KBI)

KBI plans $150M fa­cil­i­ty in Re­search Tri­an­gle Park with mys­tery co-in­vestor

A month after unveiling plans for a new manufacturing facility in Geneva, KBI Biopharma has already pegged the location for its next site: a $150 million facility in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.

The 140,000-square-foot facility will be fully operational by Q1 2022, and the contract services company says it will be home to more than 200 operations and quality assurance staffers. A mystery partner is chipping in on the facility to manufacture its protein therapies, though KBI is keeping mum about who.

Jason Kelly, Ginkgo Bioworks CEO (Kyle Grillot/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Af­ter Ko­dak de­ba­cle, US lends $1.1B to a syn­thet­ic bi­ol­o­gy com­pa­ny and their big Covid-19, mR­NA plans

In mid-August, as Kodak’s $765 million government-backed push into drug manufacturing slowly fell apart in national headlines, Ginkgo Bioworks CEO Jason Kelly got a message from his company’s government liaison: HHS wanted to know if they, too, might want a loan.

The government’s decision to lend Kodak three quarters of a billion dollars raised eyebrows because Kodak had never made drugs before. But Ginkgo, while not a manufacturing company, had spent the last decade refining new ways to produce materials inside cells and building automated facilities across Boston.

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Bax­ter con­tin­ues on-shoring push with $50M In­di­ana ex­pan­sion

It’s been a banner year for the once humdrum business of manufacturing drugs, particularly vaccines. Billions have been spent ramping up facilities for Covid-19 jabs, while individual CDMOs have expanded their facilities, apparently anticipating demand or responding to a government-led push to onshore drug manufacturing.

Now Baxter Biopharma Solutions, the CDMO wing of the many-armed healthcare giant Baxter, is getting in on the game. On Tuesday, they announced plans to spend $50 million to expand their flagship, 600,000 square-foot facility in Bloomington, IN.

Jung Jin Seo, Celltrion founder (Celltrion)

Ko­re­a's Cell­tri­on in­vests $453M in­to new man­u­fac­tur­ing plant, re­search cen­ter

Less than a year after blueprinting a $514 million biologics plant in China, Celltrion is pouring another $453 million into building a new research center and manufacturing facility in its home city of Incheon, Korea.

Like Samsung Biologics, which is planning to construct a $2 billion “super plant,” Celltrion said it’s looking to “proactively respond to the rapidly increasing global biopharmaceutical demand, and focus our capabilities on more flexible and efficient biopharmaceutical research in the future.”

Tom Hochuli (Vibalogics)

Un­der a new CEO, Ger­man CD­MO Viba­log­ics bets $150M and 110,000 square feet on the gene ther­a­py rev­o­lu­tion

Vibalogics started out 18 years ago making vaccines for chickens. Now they’re looking to drive the gene and cell therapy revolution — and make a few Covid-19 shots on the way.

On Wednesday, the German CDMO announced they’re investing $150 million into a 110,000 square foot virus and viral vector manufacturing facility in Boston, joining a wave of companies trying to build the infrastructure that can one day mass produce the hundreds of gene and cell therapies now in biotech and Big Pharma pipelines across the globe.

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En­do Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals chops 560 jobs to re­fo­cus on cel­lulite drug launch

Less than a month after inking a $658 million deal to buy out BioSpecifics Technologies, Endo Pharmaceuticals is shuttering multiple manufacturing sites and cutting 560 jobs to refocus on a drug launch in the spring.

The restructuring will occur in phases over the next few years, Endo $ENDP said Thursday. The Dublin-based biotech will gradually exit manufacturing sites in Irvine, CA and Chestnut Ridge, NY, and API manufacturing and bioequivalence study sites in India through the second half of 2022. Plus, it plans on trimming administrative costs by outsourcing “certain transaction processing activities.”