Manufacturing roundup: New Houston-based biomanufacturing site coming; UK cell and gene therapy center opens
A joint venture between Vitrian, a provider of biomanufacturing facilities, and the Howard Hughes Corporation will bring manufacturing facilities to the Houston suburb of the Woodlands, TX.
According to a press release, the area has several companies nearby, including Millipore Sigma and KBI Biopharma. The joint venture aims to meet the needs of local companies by providing a manufacturing facility in the Woodlands for use by local biotechs and CDMOs as well.
According to Vitrian co-founder and managing principal Scott Nudelman, the company previously partnered with Cellipont Bioservices on its new HQ and manufacturing site in the Woodlands area, which is leading to a deeper commitment locale. However, no other details on the new project have been revealed as of yet.
“The dynamic environment and amenity base created and nurtured by Howard Hughes provides a unique place to attract and retain life science companies and their workforce,” Nudelman said in the release.
UK’s NHS opens a new cell and gene therapy production site
The National Health Service’s Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) division has opened the new facility, dubbed the Clinical Biotechnology Centre, located outside the city of Bristol, UK. The new center was established with a £10 million ($12.1 million) grant from the UK government.
The new site is designed to make clinical-grade products for cell and gene therapy R&D. It will also manufacture products for diseases such as sickle cell, cystic fibrosis and some forms of cancer.
“The CBC will help the UK grow its cell and gene therapy industry in a rapidly growing international market. We won’t be designing the treatments, but we will be manufacturing them to the right scale and clinical grade. Cell and gene therapy is a growing area for the healthcare sector and part of our direction of travel as an organisation,” said Lilian Hook, the NHSBTs director of cell, aphaeresis and gene therapies, in a release.
Evergreen Theragnostics nets $15M in its latest funding round
The New Jersey-based radiopharmaceutical CDMO Evergreen Theragnostics has wrapped up a $15 million Series B raise.
On the back of the funding, the CDMO is launching a new unit of its business, dubbed Evergreen Discovery. This unit will be focused on developing new radiopharmaceuticals for cancer therapy. The company has also hired Thomas Reiner as its chief scientific officer, who previously served as the head of radioligand therapy drug discovery at Advanced Accelerator Applications, a Novartis company. Evergreen Discovery will also be based in a new research facility near Princeton, NJ sometime in the third quarter of this year.
“Launching Evergreen Discovery represented the next logical step for us, and we are excited to have recruited Thomas as a leader of this new team. With Evergreen Discovery, we will develop novel radiopharmaceuticals to address some of the most urgent unmet clinical needs,” said James Cook, President and CEO of Evergreen Theragnostics, in a release.
Evergreen will also use the cash to prepare for the launch of Ga-68 DOTATOC if it is approved. The CDMO will be building out its commercial capabilities and staffing as well as preparing inventory.
Sai Life Sciences sets up a new UK lab
Sai Life Sciences has established a GMP “Kilo Lab” at its facility in Manchester, UK, allowing the company to offer drug substance supplies to its customers.
The new lab will have the capacity to produce up to 35 liters of product, with room to add more capacity in the future, along with space for other analytical services to customers.
“The new lab, located closer to our customers, has been set up with comprehensive cGMP controls and world-class infrastructure. The facility will combine with our expertise in route scouting, process chemistry and scale-up, to help our partners accelerate their drug discovery and development journeys by reducing time to first-in-human clinical trials,” said Sai Life Sciences COO Sauri Gudlavalleti, in a statement.
Two French companies partner up
The biotherapeutics CDMO GTP Bioways and the CRO Texcell, which specializes in assay development and GMP banking, are engaging in a partnership to provide end-to-end services to support the development of therapeutics to customers across the globe.
The partnership will see GTP Bioways provide biomanufacturing and development services for customers ,while Texcell will provide greater international reach for the partnership with its offices and laboratories in France as well as China, Japan, the US and Germany.
“Texcell and GTP Bioways share the same business philosophy. We are both science-driven and customer-centric companies and believe in empathy, integrity, and transparency to build the success of our customer’s programs. It is thus quite natural that our long business relationship turned into a deeper partnership,” said Alain Sainsot, president of GTP Bioways in a release.
Porton Advanced Solutions inks deal with Bennu Biotherapeutics
The cell and gene therapy CDMO Porton Advanced Solutions has secured a strategic partnership with Bennu Biotherapeutics with a goal to boost the development of T-cell therapies for tumors and autoimmune diseases.
The terms of the agreement will see Proton providing CDMO services for multiple pipelines in cell and gene therapy, however, the financial terms of the timeline of the deal were not disclosed.
“Through our end-to-end Cell and Gene Therapy CDMO, Porton Advanced aims to help Bennu Biotherapeutics develop multiple pipelines for cell therapy products, accelerate the development of innovative drugs such as TIL, and bring these beneficial drugs to market as soon as possible,” said Yangzhou Wang, CEO of Proton Advanced, in a release.
Cell One Partners and the Center for Breakthrough Medicines form a strategic partnership
The consulting outfit Cell One Partners and the CDMO Center for Breakthrough Medicines (CBM) have formed a strategic partnership to commercialize cell and gene therapies.
The deal will aim to combine Cell One’s strategic capabilities and guidance of cell and gene therapy biotechs with the manufacturing of the Center for Breakthrough Medicines.
“A strategic partnership with Cell One Partners provides CGT developers access to Cell One Partners’ virtual C-Suite executives and strategic advisors and access to CBM’s expansive capacity, breadth of CGT technologies, R&D, process development and GMP manufacturing expertise, allowing innovators to focus on research, extend cash runway, simplify a complex supply chain, and accelerate the development and manufacturing of their therapies,” said Jennifer Manning the SVP of global strategic partnerships at CBM, in a release.
OmniaBio to manufacture Catamaran Bio’s cell therapies
The Canadian manufacturer OmniaBio will be developing and producing Catamaran Bio’s allogenic CAR-NK cell therapies that are designed to treat solid tumors.
The deal will see OmniaBio develop cell therapy at its sites in Toronto, which allows the manufacturer to go between development and manufacturing on a clinical scale. No other details on the deal were released.
“This collaboration will allow us to develop scalable processes for the robust GMP manufacture of our off-the-shelf CAR-NK cell therapies,” says Alvin Shih, Catamaran Bio’s CEO in a release.
Alcami names new chief manufacturing officer
Alcami has appointed Jamie Iudica to the position of chief manufacturing officer.
Iudica has over 25 years of experience in the pharmaceutical world, having previously served as chief manufacturing officer at Istari Oncology. He has also served in several manufacturing and leadership positions at companies such as Pfizer, Hospira and Xellia Pharmaceuticals.
“Jamie’s extensive expertise in drug product manufacturing operations will be integral as we expand the Alcami manufacturing and operations footprint,” said Alcami CEO Patrick Walsh, in a statement.
Alcami also announced that COO Ken Domagalski will retire later this year.
Jubilant HollisterStier announces a new president
Jubilant HollisterStier has named Chris Preti as its new president.
Preti has 25 years of experience in R&D, sales, marketing and operations. He was most recently the president of HollisterStier Allergy and has also held positions at GlaxoSmithKline.
“This is an exciting time to join Jubilant HollisterStier, as the company continues to expand its capacity to address growing industry demand for the high-quality services we provide,” Preti said in a statement emailed to Endpoints News.