Manufacturing roundup: CellVax partners up with Theragent for PhII trial; Oxford Biomedica sells facility for $70M+
The cell therapy CDMO Theragent has roped in a manufacturing contract for a Phase II trial.
The company is working on CellVax Therapeutics’ immunotherapy candidate FK-PC101, a cell-based autologous cancer vaccine for prostate cancer patients who have a high rate of recurrence after prostatectomy. The size of the deal was not disclosed.
In an email to Endpoints News, Theragent COO Jeff Masten said the CDMO was selected after a consultant’s recommendation.
“CellVax selecting Theragent for a 230 patient Phase II trial provides confidence and credibility for Theragent,” Masten said.
The tech transfer on the deal has already begun and manufacturing services are slated to start later this year. Masten said that because the tech transfer and other analytical testing is a large and time-consuming effort, it’s likely that Theragent would be “an obvious choice” to support a Phase III trial if it goes that far.
“Additionally, cell therapy product comparability across multiple manufacturers is very challenging and requires FDA approval, therefore this can all be avoided by staying with one manufacturer for the entire clinical development of the product,” he said.
Oxford Biomedica moves to complete the sale of its Windrush Court facility
The gene and cell therapy company Oxford Biomedica has “exchanged contracts” for the sale of its 75,000 square-foot Windrush Court facility to Kadans Science Partner for £60 million ($70 million).
The sale of the facility, which is in the city of Oxford, UK, exceeds the target offer figure of £55 million ($64 million). For Oxford Biomedica, the facility sale now puts the company’s cash position at over £150 million ($176.6 million).
“The proceeds of the transaction will enhance our net cash position, providing us with additional financial flexibility as we build our leadership as an innovation-led CDMO across all viral vectors for cell and gene therapy,” said Stuart Paynter, the CFO of Oxford Biomedica, in a press release.
In addition, Kadans has granted Oxford Biomedica an occupational lease of the property for 15 years at a rent of £3.5 million ($4.1 million) per year and rising to £4.7 million ($5.5 million) after five years.
Kindeva Drug Delivery and a former Pfizer unit will combine into one CDMO
Kindeva Drug Delivery will soon be merging with Meridian Medical Technologies, a former unit of Pfizer until it was acquired by Altaris in 2021.
Both companies will combine to function as a singular CDMO specializing in drug delivery capabilities surrounding drugs that need parenteral, inhalation, transdermal and intradermal administration. Meridian CEO Milton Boyer will be the CEO of the combined company. However, they will continue to operate as independent companies until the deal closes. No timeline has been given for closing.
“The integrated, complementary offerings of Kindeva and Meridian create a CDMO with a broad portfolio of capabilities and proprietary technology platforms across multiple drug delivery formats, enabling us to serve customers and communities across multiple large and growing end markets,” Boyer said in a statement.
Both companies are currently under the banner of the healthcare investment firm Altaris. Kindeva was formerly known as 3M Drug Delivery Systems until it was acquired from the 3M company in 2020. The company specializes in drug-device combination products with a focus on inhalation, transdermal and intradermal products.
Meridian was acquired by Altaris from Pfizer in 2021 and is a manufacturer of autoinjectors.
WuXi Vaccines acquires a new manufacturing facility in China
The vaccine CDMO WuXi Vaccines has inked a deal with Harbour BioMed to net one of its manufacturing facilities and bring it under the WuXi banner.
The 8,500 square-foot facilities in Suzhou, China, will be transferred to WuXi Vaccines and includes 50L, 500L, and 1000L single-use bioreactors as well as lines for manufacturing sterile drug products. The company also plans to renovate the facility and will serve as WuXi Vaccine’s first standalone manufacturing site in China.
“The new facility will expand our capabilities and capacities to better serve our global partners in developing and manufacturing vaccines. We are committed to advancing the accessibility and affordability of high-quality vaccines, with integrated technology platforms that enable our global partners to enhance the well-being of people worldwide,” said Jian Dong, CEO of WuXi Vaccines, in a press release.