CymaBay shares soar on trial update; Lonza opens massive Texas facility dedicated to cell, gene therapies; Inovio lines up $56M
→ Swiss drug manufacturer Lonza wants to cash in on the rising demand for cell and gene therapies, and it reckons Texas is the place to do it. On Tuesday, Lonza cut the ribbon at its dedicated cell-and-gene-therapy manufacturing facility in Pearland, Greater Houston — the world’s largest at 300,000 square feet, the company says. The fully integrated plant will offer manufacturing services for every stage of drug development, from preclinical and clinical to commercialization, some of which is already under way. By the end of 2018, it is expected to be fully operational with 200-plus full-time staff.
→ Shares of little CymaBay $CBAY shot up 23% this morning after the biotech reported some positive numbers for its ongoing Phase II study of seladelpar in patients with primary biliary cholangitis. The company says that their update shows that “seladelpar exhibits potent and sustained anti-cholestatic and anti-inflammatory efficacy over 26 weeks of administration.”
→ The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) is handing Inovio $INO up to $56 million to fund work on new vaccines for Lassa fever and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome. “Epidemics don’t respect borders; they destroy lives and devastate economies and we need to move swiftly to prepare for them,” says CEPI CEO Richard Hatchett. “Partnering with Inovio is a considerable move forward for CEPI’s vaccine portfolio and developing a global insurance policy against these diseases.”
With additional reporting by John Carroll