Manufacturing roundup: mRNA manufacturer nets $300M+ investment to scale research; Cytiva acquires Michigan facility
As mRNA tech has been made more popular by the Covid-19 pandemic, investor cash is making its way to manufacturers and researchers.
In their latest move, Irish biotech Normax Biomed has netted a €300 Million, or $305 million, investment from private firm GEM Global Yield.
The deal will see GEM provide Normax with a share subscription facility of up to €50 Million for a 36-month term following the public listing of the Normax common stock.
Normax will control the timing and maximum amount of each drawdown under the facility and has no minimum subscription obligation. Normax is planning to list itself on either the SIX Swiss Exchange, SIX Digital Exchange (SDX), or the London Stock Exchange as well.
According to Normax CEO Peter Jensen, after the capital commitment, the company plans to also increase research and development of mRNA vaccines for Covid-19, TB, HIV and Malaria and deploy modular mRNA Vaccine Factories, in up 100 locations.
“In the event of another public health emergency, we are also committed to delivering future mRNA vaccines in 100 days, to help ensure that Covid-19 is the last pandemic we will all suffer through. Deadly diseases wait for no man and no market,” Jensen said in a statement.
He also said that despite market conditions not being ideal, Normax will go to market in 2022.
“Our Normax core business of mRNA vaccine R&D and manufacturing can deliver sustainable returns on fundamental healthcare needs that biologically will last forever. Pathogens are inevitable, but diseases are not,” he said.
According to the company, it uses modular manufacturing sites that can allow the construction of an mRNA vaccine factory and the production of mRNA vaccines wherever needed.
Cytiva acquires a site in Michigan for resin manufacturing
While Cytiva has been placing investments internationally, its latest move takes them to the wolverine state.
According to the company, it is investing in more resins manufacturing operations outside of Sweden for the first time in its history.
The company has acquired a facility in Muskegon, Michigan. The new resins manufacturing site is part of Cytiva and Pall Corporation’s $1.5 billion capacity expansion investment.
Cytiva plans to transform the site into a 168,000-square-foot biomanufacturing center consisting of multiple buildings. Cytiva is now expanding beyond Sweden to manufacture these resins. Resins are critical in purifying and analyzing biomolecules so pharmaceutical and life sciences companies can make medicines. The facility will also bring in an estimated 200 employees when completed, but the financial details of the project were not disclosed.
“When you’re looking to help provide global biotechnology solutions to the world, it requires you to be nimble and flexible. By investing in Muskegon, Michigan, we will be closer to our North American customers, who are developing advanced biotherapeutics,” said Cytiva CEO Emmanuel Ligner in a statement.
The site received benefits from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and the Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF). The site also has a co-operative agreement funded through BARDA and has contracting support from the DoD.
Construction is planned to start at some point in Q3 2022, with manufacturing expected to begin in 2026.
Drug manufacturer centered on 3D printing nets deal with Eli Lilly
Chinese biotech Triastek and Eli Lilly have inked a deal to leverage Triastek’s 3D printing technology to enable targeted and programmed release of drugs in specific regions of the GI tract.
According to Triastek, the agreement will focus on the release of drugs in the intestine. Triastek will focus on conducting an in-depth study of excipient properties and process parameters to maintain drug stability throughout the 3D printing manufacturing process. The other part of the deal will see Triastek identifying a dosage design that will permit the programmed release of drugs in specific parts of the intestine, to improve the bioavailability of orally administered drugs.
Triastek’s technology has applications in both solid dosage form development and manufacturing.
Lilly did not comment on the deal to Endpoints News.
“We envision that the MED technology of Triastek can be used to solve the challenges in formulations leading to the development of clinically valuable products for our global partners,” said Triastek CEO Senping Cheng.
WuXi makes significant manufacturing investments in Singapore
WuXi AppTec and its subsidiary WuXi STA are staying busy this week.
On Wednesday, the parent company announced a plan to build a new R&D and manufacturing site in Singapore.
The company intends to invest up to $1.43 billion to construct and get the site fully operational. The investment is expected to be made in stages over the next 10 years, depending on the company’s business needs.
The new site will be designed to expand the company’s manufacturing capacity and enhance its capabilities but no there details have been disclosed.
“This investment will further enhance our capacity and capabilities so we can better support our collaborative partners globally and realize our shared vision that every drug can be made, and every disease can be treated,” said WuXi CEO Ge Li in a statement.
Once completed, the Singapore site will also serve a role in its global network across Asia, Europe, and North America.
Deka Biosciences breaks ground on new facility
Maryland-based biotech Deka Biosciences has broken ground on a 14,000-square-foot headquarters to hold its manufacturing, R&D and process development capabilities.
The new building will be in the Washington, DC suburb of Germantown, MD. The company is expecting to move in around the first quarter of next year.
The site will further develop its novel cytokine therapies.
“Our new facility will provide us with essential space to expand our research, development and manufacturing efforts, allowing us to continue to successfully develop our Diakine therapies, using single-use technology to scale both quickly and economically,” said Deka CEO John Mumm, in a statement.
According to the company, this is also the first facility to house a dual-targeted cytokine development lab in the Washington DC area.