Looking to build in red-hot viral vector space, Thermo Fisher inks $878M deal for Belgian manufacturer's 2 plants
Between Covid-19 vaccines and gene therapies, the contract manufacturing market for viral vector tech has grown at a rapid clip. Thermo Fisher Scientific, already one of the biggest CDMOs on the block, has now made a move to buoy its EU footprint in that field.
Thermo Fisher will pay $878 million to acquire Henogen SA, Novasep’s viral vector manufacturing business, which comprises two Belgian locations in Seneffe and Gosselies that offer over 75,000 square feet of clinical and commercial manufacturing capacity, the Massachusetts company said Friday.
Over two decades, Novasep has grown to some 400 employees and boasted a 2020 revenue of around $95 million through its CDMO services that focus on vaccines and other therapies to large biotech companies and other industry customers. Michel Lagarde, Thermo Fisher’s executive vice president, said in a statement that the addition of European manufacturing capacity will complement the company’s four CDMO sites in the US.
“(Novasep) bring(s) an incredibly talented team with more than two decades of experience across a broad range of viral vectors,” Lagarde said. ” The combination will benefit our global customers seeking support and capacity in the region as well as European customers bringing new medicines to patients inside and outside of Europe.”
In the last month, Thermo Fisher has unveiled plans for seven other manufacturing facilities across the US and Europe, varying in degrees of focus and publicly-available financing details.
The first four sites were announced Dec. 11, focused on providing services for a range of clients, “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 at the time. Those sites are located in Greenville, NC, Ferentino and Monza, Italy, and Swindon, England — focusing on commercial-scale filling lines and cold-chain storage for vaccines that must be stored at extremely low temperatures.
Four days later, the company ramped up its clinical supply chain offerings — notably to aid the ongoing Covid-19 response effort —in Germany with two new facilities in Rheinfelden and Weil am Rhein. The Rheinfelden site went online in December, and the Weil am Rhein site is set to go online sometime this month.
Then, on Dec. 17, Thermo Fisher announced its third major expansion, this time a 67,000 square-foot cGMP facility specializing in the production of plasmid DNA therapeutics involving independently-replicating molecules at its existing Carlsbad, CA site.