Man­u­fac­tur­ing roundup: WuXi con­tin­ues its ex­pan­sion dri­ve with an­oth­er plant open­ing in Changzhou; Swiss biotech nets an­oth­er ac­qui­si­tion

The CD­MO WuXi STA has been rapid­ly ex­pand­ing over the past year, and its next open­ing will ex­pand its of­fer­ing in the pep­tide sec­tor.

WuXi has opened two new large-scale oligonu­cleotide and pep­tide man­u­fac­tur­ing fa­cil­i­ties at its cam­pus in Changzhou, Chi­na, ac­cord­ing to the com­pa­ny. How­ev­er, the fi­nan­cial and em­ploy­ment de­tails have not been dis­closed to End­points News.

The new 30,000 square-foot fa­cil­i­ty for oligonu­cleotide de­vel­op­ment and man­u­fac­tur­ing con­tains four oligonu­cleotide pro­duc­tion lines and more than 20 small- to mid-scale pro­duc­tion lines that should in­crease the over­all man­u­fac­tur­ing ca­pac­i­ty of a sin­gle syn­the­sis run from 1.9 mol to 6.0 mol.

For pep­tides, WuXi has con­struct­ed a new 22,000 square-foot pep­tide plant that fea­tures three new pro­duc­tion lines with re­ac­tors that can ac­com­mo­date up to 1,000 L, in­creas­ing the com­pa­ny’s over­all sol­id-phase pep­tide syn­the­sis re­ac­tor vol­ume to 6,490 L.

Minzhang Chen

“WuXi STA is com­mit­ted to en­abling part­ners by en­hanc­ing our new modal­i­ty CRD­MO plat­form’s ca­pac­i­ty and ca­pa­bil­i­ty to ex­pe­dite the de­vel­op­ment and com­mer­cial­iza­tion of more in­no­v­a­tive ther­a­pies to ben­e­fit pa­tients world­wide,” said Minzhang Chen, the Co-CEO of WuXi AppTec and WuXi STA.

The new fa­cil­i­ty is a part of WuXi STA’s CRD­MO plat­form for sup­port­ing not on­ly oligonu­cleotides and pep­tides, but nov­el monomers and link­ers, and com­plex con­ju­gates, from ear­ly dis­cov­ery to de­vel­op­ment and com­mer­cial pro­duc­tion.

WuXi re­cent­ly opened an­oth­er high-po­ten­cy API (HPA­PI) plant at its Changzhou site lo­cat­ed in Jiang­su, Chi­na. The new plant is de­signed to meet the grow­ing de­mand for high-po­ten­cy APIs.

Last year the com­pa­ny al­so es­tab­lished fa­cil­i­ties in Eu­rope and the US.

Swiss-based Biosynth Car­bosynth ac­quires Dutch pep­tide man­u­fac­tur­er

Swiss man­u­fac­tur­er Biosynth Car­bosynth has net­ted an­oth­er ac­qui­si­tion.

Urs Spitz

The com­pa­ny an­nounced on Mon­day that it has ac­quired Pep­scan, a Dutch provider of pep­tide-based prod­ucts and ser­vices.

The fi­nan­cial terms of the deal were not dis­closed, but the two com­pa­nies will form Biosynth’s new pep­tide di­vi­sion. The new di­vi­sion will of­fer pep­tides to the phar­ma and biotech in­dus­tries along with the di­ag­nos­tics and cos­met­ics in­dus­tries.

“This al­lows us to con­tin­ue to sim­pli­fy the sup­ply chains for our cus­tomers across life sci­ences, phar­ma and di­ag­nos­tics, so they deal with one or­ga­ni­za­tion for all of their needs. Pep­scan is known for its sci­en­tif­ic knowl­edge and ex­per­tise and has a com­ple­men­tary set of man­u­fac­tur­ing to those we have al­ready, in­clud­ing GMP ca­pa­bil­i­ties, so it was a per­fect fit,” said Biosynth CEO and pres­i­dent Urs Spitz.

Biosynth has been on the move re­cent­ly as the com­pa­ny ac­quired Irish-based Aal­to Bio Reagents, a de­vel­op­er and provider of bi­o­log­i­cal ma­te­ri­als to the in-vit­ro di­ag­nos­tic (IVD) and vac­cine de­vel­op­ment in­dus­try.

KBI Bio­phar­ma and Se­lex­is open new fa­cil­i­ty in Switzer­land

As Switzer­land con­tin­ues to see both in­ter­na­tion­al and home-grown com­pa­nies build­ing out spaces, two more com­pa­nies are get­ting in on the ac­tion.

KBI Bio­phar­ma and Se­lex­is SA have opened a 94,000-square-foot fa­cil­i­ty that is de­signed meet the high de­mand for bio­phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal drug de­vel­op­ment and man­u­fac­tur­ing in Eu­rope.

Ac­cord­ing to KBI, the fa­cil­i­ty will sup­port an in­te­grat­ed, end-to-end process of Se­lex­is’ cell line de­vel­op­ment ser­vices along with KBI’s CD­MO ser­vices.

Mark Wom­ack

“KBI and Se­lex­is have a long his­to­ry of suc­cess to­geth­er, our col­lab­o­ra­tion has ac­cel­er­at­ed more than 60 drug de­vel­op­ment pro­grams in Eu­rope and world­wide. In­te­grat­ing Se­lex­is’ world-renowned CLD ser­vices with KBI’s process de­vel­op­ment in­no­va­tion and ex­cel­lence, as well as clin­i­cal and com­mer­cial man­u­fac­tur­ing ex­pe­ri­ence pro­vides our clients with seam­less, cost-ef­fec­tive, and re­li­able de­vel­op­ment and man­u­fac­tur­ing for their prod­ucts,” said KBI CEO Mark Wom­ack.

Ac­cord­ing to KBI, the fa­cil­i­ty will house new lab­o­ra­to­ries to sup­port Se­lex­is’ cell line man­u­fac­tur­ing and KBI’s process de­vel­op­ment and cGMP man­u­fac­tur­ing. The fa­cil­i­ty will al­so fea­ture qual­i­ty con­trol with a suite for test­ing lab­o­ra­to­ries and cGMP sin­gle-use man­u­fac­tur­ing trains. The ex­pan­sion will al­so gen­er­ate over 300 new jobs in de­vel­op­ment, op­er­a­tions and qual­i­ty as­sur­ance.

IDC: Life Sci­ences Firms Must Em­brace Dig­i­tal Trans­for­ma­tion Now

Pre-pandemic, the life sciences industry had settled into a pattern. The average drug took 12 years and $2.9 billion to bring to market, and it was an acceptable mode of operations, according to Nimita Limaye, Research Vice President for Life Sciences R&D Strategy and Technology at IDC.

COVID-19 changed that, and served as a proof-of-concept for how technology can truly help life sciences companies succeed and grow, Limaye said. She recently spoke about industry trends at Egnyte’s Life Sciences Summit 2022. You should watch the entire session, free and on-demand, but here’s a brief recap of why she’s urging life sciences companies to embrace digital transformation.

Paul Hudson, Sanofi CEO (Eric Piermont/AFP via Getty Images)

Up­dat­ed: Hit by an­oth­er PhI­II flop, Sanofi culls breast can­cer drug — sound­ing alarm for the class

Sanofi is officially giving up on its oral SERD.

The French drugmaker put out word Wednesday morning that it will discontinue the global development program of amcenestrant, the selective estrogen receptor degrader once billed as a top late-stage prospect. Having already failed a Phase II monotherapy test earlier this year, a combo with the drug also missed the bar in a second trial for breast cancer, triggering the decision to drop the whole program.

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Tom Barnes, Orna Therapeutics CEO

UP­DAT­ED: 'We have failed to fail': Mer­ck gam­bles $250M cash on a next-gen ap­proach to mR­NA — af­ter punt­ing its big al­liance with Mod­er­na

Merck went in deep on its collaboration with Moderna on new mRNA programs, and dropped them all over time, including their RSV partnership. But after writing off what turned out as one of the most successful infectious disease players in the business, Merck is coming in this morning with a new preclinical alliance — this time embracing a biotech that hopes to eventually outdo the famously successful mRNA in a new run at vaccines and therapeutics.

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Bayer's first DTC ad campaign for chronic kidney disease drug Kerendia spells out its benefits

Bay­er aims to sim­pli­fy the com­plex­i­ties of CKD with an ABC-themed ad cam­paign

Do you know the ABCs of CKD in T2D? Bayer’s first ad campaign for Kerendia tackles the complexity of chronic kidney disease with a play on the acronym (CKD) and its connection to type 2 diabetes (T2D).

Kerendia was approved last year as the first and only non-steroidal mineralocorticoid receptor antagonist to treat CKD in people with type 2 diabetes.

In the TV commercial launched this week, A is for awareness, B is for belief and C is for cardiovascular, explained in the ad as awareness of the connection between type 2 and kidney disease, belief that something can be done about it, and cardiovascular events that may be reduced with treatment.

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James Mock, incoming CFO at Moderna

Mod­er­na taps new CFO from PerkinElmer af­ter for­mer one-day CFO oust­ed

When Moderna hired a new CFO last year,  it didn’t expect to see him gone after only one day. Today the biotech named his — likely much more vetted — replacement.

The mRNA company put out word early Wednesday that after the untimely departure of then brand-new CFO Jorge Gomez, it has now found a replacement in James Mock, the soon-to-be former CFO at diagnostics and analytics company PerkinElmer.

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Etleva Kadilli, director of UNICEF’s supply division

GSK lands first-ever UNICEF con­tract for malar­ia vac­cine worth $170M

GSK has landed a new first from UNICEF the first-ever contract for malaria vaccines, worth up to $170 million for 18 million vaccine doses distributed over the next three years.

The vaccine, known as Mosquirix or RTS,S, won WHO’s backing last October after a controversial start, but UNICEF said these doses will potentially save thousands of lives every year.

“We hope this is just the beginning,” Etleva Kadilli, director of UNICEF’s supply division, said. “Continued innovation is needed to develop new and next-generation vaccines to increase available supply, and enable a healthier vaccine market. This is a giant step forward in our collective efforts to save children’s lives and reduce the burden of malaria as part of wider malaria prevention and control programmes.”

Governor John Carney, Lieutenant Governor Bethany Hall-Long, Mayor Kenneth Branner, Jr., Delaware Prosperity Partnership President Kurt Foreman, WuXi AppTec Chairman and CEO Ge Li, WuXi AppTec Co-CEO and WuXi STA CEO Minzhang Chen, and others celebrate the groundbreaking for the WuXi STA Middletown campus.

WuXi breaks ground on Delaware fa­cil­i­ty, boost­ing its US pres­ence

While Middletown, Delaware’s main claim to fame was the site location for the film the Dead Poets Society, the city will soon play host to a massive manufacturing outfit.

WuXi AppTec’s contract research and manufacturing subsidiary WuXi STA, has broken ground on a 190-acre manufacturing campus in Middletown.

According to the company, this site will be WuXi’s second facility in the US, and it will create around 500 full-time jobs by 2026, but there are plans to kick off operations in 2025.

Joe Jonas (Photo by Anthony Behar/Sipa USA)(Sipa via AP Images)

So­lo Jonas broth­er car­ries Merz's new tune in Botox ri­val cam­paign

As the lyrics of his band’s 2019 pop-rock single suggest, Joe Jonas is only human — and that means even he gets frown lines. The 33-year-old singer-songwriter is Merz’s newest celebrity brand partner for its Botox rival Xeomin, as medical aesthetics brands target a younger audience.

Merz kicked off its “Beauty on Your Terms” campaign on Tuesday, featuring the Jonas brother in a video ad for its double-filtered anti-wrinkle injection Xeomin.

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Marisol Peron, Genmab SVP of communications and corporate affairs

Gen­mab launch­es cor­po­rate cam­paign am­pli­fy­ing its ‘knock your socks off’ an­ti­bod­ies

Genmab often talks about its “knock-your-socks-off” antibodies — and now the term is getting its own logo and corporate campaign.

The teal and purple logo for the acronym KYSO — Genmab pronounces it “ky-so” — debuts on Wednesday and comes on the heels of Genmab’s newly announced 2030 vision. That aspiration aims to expand Genmab’s drug development beyond oncology to include other serious diseases, while also doubling down on its own drug development.

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