Charles Riv­er Lab­o­ra­to­ries has been on an ac­qui­si­tion spree. But Tues­day, it of­floaded two as­sets

Fol­low­ing a sum­mer filled with merg­ers and ac­qui­si­tions, Charles Riv­er Lab­o­ra­to­ries has di­vest­ed its re­search op­er­a­tions in Japan and a CD­MO site in Swe­den, en­gi­neer­ing two sep­a­rate deals ex­pect­ed to cut down $20 mil­lion in rev­enue.

Tues­day, Charles Riv­er sold its gene ther­a­py CD­MO site to a pri­vate in­vestor group for about $52 mil­lion in cash, with the po­ten­tial for con­tin­gent pay­ments up to $25 mil­lion. The site was in the com­pa­ny’s pos­ses­sion for on­ly a few months, as it was ac­quired from Cog­nate BioSer­vices on March 29.

The site pri­mar­i­ly pro­duces plas­mid DNA for gene ther­a­pies. It has about 130 em­ploy­ees and gen­er­at­ed $10 mil­lion in rev­enue in 2020, and the sale re­duces earn­ings per share by about 10 cents in Q4 of this year. Charles Riv­er says it still will pro­duce pDNA in oth­er sites in the UK and US.

The two deals — done sep­a­rate­ly — gen­er­at­ed $98 mil­lion for Charles Riv­er. The sale of the RMS Japan op­er­a­tions to the Jack­son Lab­o­ra­to­ry will pro­vide the buy­er with 260 em­ploy­ees and a busi­ness that gen­er­at­ed $46 mil­lion in rev­enue in 2020. Charles Riv­er and the Jack­son Lab­o­ra­to­ry have had a dis­tri­b­u­tion agree­ment for more than 20 years, and Charles Riv­er will still have the Japan lo­ca­tion make and dis­trib­ute the com­pa­ny’s re­search mod­els in Japan. The site was sold for $63 mil­lion.

James Fos­ter

In mid-May, Charles Riv­er paid $292.5 mil­lion for Vi­gene Bio­sciences and its 52,000 square feet of man­u­fac­tur­ing space in Rockville, MD. In Feb­ru­ary, the com­pa­ny bought Cog­nate and pledged to dou­ble ca­pac­i­ty in Mem­phis and Eu­rope. It teamed up with Va­lence Dis­cov­ery in April, and ex­pand­ed its man­u­fac­tur­ing op­er­a­tions in Ire­land by ex­tend­ing its test­ing ca­pa­bil­i­ties in a deal worth near­ly $10 mil­lion that will add an­oth­er 90 roles to the team in the next three years. The deal will al­so help pro­vide test­ing and de­ploy­ment of As­traZeneca’s Covid-19 jab Vaxzevria and flu vac­cine Fluenz.

About 6% of Charles Riv­er’s Q2 growth was thanks to ac­qui­si­tions, ac­cord­ing to an earn­ings re­port. Year-over-year rev­enue was up 34% this year af­ter Q2, from $682.6 mil­lion in 2020 to $914.6 mil­lion. CEO James Fos­ter said in a press re­lease that the strength of the non-clin­i­cal con­tract re­search and man­u­fac­tur­ing port­fo­lios helped po­si­tion the com­pa­ny to re­spond well to the de­mands that came along with Covid-19.

In a May in­ter­view with End­points News, Bir­git Gir­shick — a 32-year Charles Riv­er vet­er­an and EVP of dis­cov­ery and safe­ty as­sess­ment — said that or­gan­ic in­vest­ment through M&As has helped the com­pa­ny nav­i­gate an area un­der con­stant change.

“Our guid­ing prin­ci­ple for ac­qui­si­tions is to ac­quire com­pa­nies with the best sci­ence and the best peo­ple,” she said. “This is how we en­hance the breadth and qual­i­ty of our ser­vices as we grow.”

The Fac­tors Dri­ving a Rapid Evo­lu­tion of Gene & Cell Ther­a­py and CAR-T Clin­i­cal Re­search in APAC

APAC is the fastest growing region globally for cell & gene therapy trials representing more than a third of all cell & gene studies globally, with China leading in the region. 

APAC is the leading location globally for CAR-T trials with China attracting ~60% of all CAR-T trials globally between 2015-2022. The number of CAR-T trials initiated by Western companies has rapidly increased in recent years (current CAGR of about 60%), with multiple targets being explored including CD19, CD20, CD22, BCMA, CD30, CD123, CD33, CD38, and CD138.

The End­points 11; blue­bird's $3M gene ther­a­py; Bio­gen tout new neu­ro da­ta; Harsh re­views for can­cer drugs; and more

Welcome back to Endpoints Weekly, your review of the week’s top biopharma headlines. Want this in your inbox every Saturday morning? Current Endpoints readers can visit their reader profile to add Endpoints Weekly. New to Endpoints? Sign up here.

Reading about John Carroll’s pick of biotech’s most promising startups has become a treasured tradition. If you ever get curious about previous classes of the Endpoints 11, you can find all of them (plus a number of our other regular specials) here.

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EMA warns of short­ages of two Boehringer heart drugs due to a spike in de­mand

The EMA is putting EU member states on alert over the shortage of two drugs that counter heart attacks due to an uptick in demand.

On Friday, the EMA sent out a warning that two Boehringer Ingelheim drugs are experiencing a shortage: Actilyse and Metalyse. The drugs are used as emergency treatments for adults experiencing acute myocardial infarction, or a heart attack, by dissolving blood clots that have formed in the blood vessels.

The End­points 11: The top pri­vate biotechs in pur­suit of new drugs. Push­ing the en­ve­lope with pow­er­ful new tech­nolo­gies

Right around the beginning of the year, we got a close-up look at what happens after a boom ripples through biotech. The crash of life sciences stocks in Q1 was heard around the world.

In the months since, we’ve seen the natural Darwinian down cycle take effect. Reverse mergers made a comeback, with more burned out shells to go public at a time IPOs and road shows are out of favor. And no doubt some of the more recent arrivals on the investing side of the business are finding greener pastures.

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Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar

Should SCO­TUS hear Am­gen's Repatha case? So­lic­i­tor gen­er­al says no

Back in April, Amgen said it was encouraged by the solicitor general’s anticipated review of its Supreme Court petition to rehear a Repatha patent case. They’re likely much less optimistic about the outcome now.

Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar wrote in a recent 27-page brief that Amgen’s arguments “lack merit and further review is not warranted.”

The case traces back to a suit filed in 2014 against Sanofi and Regeneron’s Praluent, which ended up beating Amgen’s PCSK9 blockbuster Repatha to market by a month just a year later.

Luke Miels, GSK chief commercial officer

Lend­ing a hand to a biotech in trou­ble, GSK drops $75M cash to add late-stage an­tibi­ot­ic to port­fo­lio

GSK likes to take pride in being one of the few Big Pharma players still active in antibiotics R&D. And that means keeping tabs on what the field has to offer.

In a move to beef up the late-stage pipeline, GSK is licensing a late-stage antibiotic candidate from Spero Therapeutics. In doing so, it’s coming to the rescue of a struggling biotech that’s crumbled in the wake of an FDA rejection and raised doubts about its ability to carry on.

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David Chang, Allogene CEO (Jeff Rumans)

Servi­er cuts off col­lab­o­ra­tion agree­ment with Al­lo­gene on CD19 prod­ucts, send­ing shares sput­ter­ing

Allogene Therapeutics said in an SEC filing today that French partner Servier has cut off its involvement in a partnership developing therapies directed against CD19, including the most advanced candidates in Allogene’s pipeline.

Shares of Allogene $ALLO, an outfit run by Kite vets Arie Belldegrun and research chief David Chang, fell by almost 10% on Wednesday, even as the San Francisco-based company said that Servier’s discontinuation “does not otherwise affect our current exclusive license for the development and commercialization of CD19 Products in the United States.”

As­traZeneca, Mer­ck cull one Lyn­parza in­di­ca­tion in heav­i­ly pre­treat­ed ovar­i­an can­cer pa­tients

Just one day after blockbuster Lynparza got access to another indication in China, its Big Pharma owners have decided to withdraw it in certain patients after reviewing Phase III data.

The two companies that work together on Lynparza decided to recall one of the indications several weeks ago in a specific type of ovarian cancer, Lynparza’s first indication when it was first FDA-approved in 2014. Initial data showed that rates of overall survival in patients with at least three rounds of chemo before getting on the PARP inhibitor were lower than in patients with less previous chemo treatment.

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Fu­ji­film con­tin­ues CD­MO ex­pan­sion, break­ing ground on $435M UK site

Fujifilm’s CDMO arm, Fujifilm Diosynth, has been on a roll this month as the company has recently broken ground on a major project in Europe and it appears to be keeping up the momentum.

Fujifilm Diosynth announced that it has kicked off an expansion project for its microbial manufacturing facility at its campus in the town of Billingham, UK, in the northeast of England.

The 20,000 square-foot, £400 million ($435 million) expansion will add clean rooms, purification suites and a packing area along with more space for the manufacturing itself.