Joachim Kreuzburg, Sartorious CEO

On an ex­pan­sion spree, Ger­man man­u­fac­tur­er Sar­to­rius makes $500M+ pur­chase of cell cul­ture me­dia play­er

Over the past year, the Ger­man-based life sci­ence group Sar­to­rius has made sev­er­al moves to grow the com­pa­ny in the cell and gene ther­a­py space, and its lat­est move sees the com­pa­ny con­tin­u­ing that track as it is com­mit­ting to a nine-fig­ure deal to bring UK-based Al­bumedix un­der its wing.

The deal will have Sar­to­rius ac­quir­ing 100% of the com­pa­ny from pri­vate in­vestors for £415 mil­lion, or around $502 mil­lion. Al­bumedix, based in the city of Not­ting­ham, UK, is a man­u­fac­tur­er of al­bu­min-based prod­ucts. Al­bu­min serves as a ma­jor in­gre­di­ent in cell cul­ture me­dia and is used as an an­i­mal-free ad­di­tive in the man­u­fac­tur­ing of vac­cines, cell ther­a­pies and vi­ral ther­a­pies. The trans­ac­tion is ex­pect­ed to close be­fore the end of Q3 of 2022.

Al­bumedix cur­rent­ly has more than 100 em­ploy­ees and is ex­pect­ed to net £33 mil­lion, or around $40 mil­lion, this year. Fol­low­ing the ac­qui­si­tion, it will be placed un­der the bio­process so­lu­tions di­vi­sion of Sar­to­rius. The com­pa­ny’s 72,000-square-foot man­u­fac­tur­ing site in Not­ting­ham will con­tin­ue to be used as a GMP-com­pli­ant pro­duc­er of raw ma­te­ri­als.

René Fáber

“Al­bumedix will be an im­por­tant ad­di­tion to Sar­to­rius’ ad­vanced ther­a­py so­lu­tions, par­tic­u­lar­ly re­gard­ing our cell cul­ture me­dia busi­ness, as it will en­able us to strength­en our po­si­tion as a rel­e­vant sup­pli­er of in­no­v­a­tive chem­i­cal­ly de­fined me­dia and crit­i­cal an­cil­lary ma­te­ri­als,” said René Fáber, a mem­ber of Sar­to­rius’s ex­ec­u­tive board, in a state­ment.

The move to ac­quire Al­bumedix is just the lat­est move Sar­to­rius has made in the cell ther­a­py man­u­fac­tur­ing space.

Last year Roost­er­Bio and Sar­to­rius part­nered to scale up hu­man mes­enchy­mal stem/stro­mal cell man­u­fac­tur­ing for re­gen­er­a­tive med­i­cine. The part­ner­ship was in­tend­ed to re­duce de­vel­op­ment ef­forts, bol­ster sup­ply chains and ac­cel­er­ate the de­vel­op­ment of its ther­a­pies.

How­ev­er, Sar­to­rius has al­so not been averse to flat-out ac­qui­si­tions. Last year the com­pa­ny pur­chased a ma­jor­i­ty stake in Ger­many-based Cell­Genix for $118 mil­lion and will net the re­main­ing shares in 2023 and be­yond. The deal saw Sar­to­rius ex­pand its abil­i­ty to make raw ma­te­ri­als for cell and gene ther­a­py as well.

The Fac­tors Dri­ving a Rapid Evo­lu­tion of Gene & Cell Ther­a­py and CAR-T Clin­i­cal Re­search in APAC

APAC is the fastest growing region globally for cell & gene therapy trials representing more than a third of all cell & gene studies globally, with China leading in the region. 

APAC is the leading location globally for CAR-T trials with China attracting ~60% of all CAR-T trials globally between 2015-2022. The number of CAR-T trials initiated by Western companies has rapidly increased in recent years (current CAGR of about 60%), with multiple targets being explored including CD19, CD20, CD22, BCMA, CD30, CD123, CD33, CD38, and CD138.

The End­points 11; blue­bird's $3M gene ther­a­py; Bio­gen tout new neu­ro da­ta; Harsh re­views for can­cer drugs; and more

Welcome back to Endpoints Weekly, your review of the week’s top biopharma headlines. Want this in your inbox every Saturday morning? Current Endpoints readers can visit their reader profile to add Endpoints Weekly. New to Endpoints? Sign up here.

Reading about John Carroll’s pick of biotech’s most promising startups has become a treasured tradition. If you ever get curious about previous classes of the Endpoints 11, you can find all of them (plus a number of our other regular specials) here.

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EMA warns of short­ages of two Boehringer heart drugs due to a spike in de­mand

The EMA is putting EU member states on alert over the shortage of two drugs that counter heart attacks due to an uptick in demand.

On Friday, the EMA sent out a warning that two Boehringer Ingelheim drugs are experiencing a shortage: Actilyse and Metalyse. The drugs are used as emergency treatments for adults experiencing acute myocardial infarction, or a heart attack, by dissolving blood clots that have formed in the blood vessels.

The End­points 11: The top pri­vate biotechs in pur­suit of new drugs. Push­ing the en­ve­lope with pow­er­ful new tech­nolo­gies

Right around the beginning of the year, we got a close-up look at what happens after a boom ripples through biotech. The crash of life sciences stocks in Q1 was heard around the world.

In the months since, we’ve seen the natural Darwinian down cycle take effect. Reverse mergers made a comeback, with more burned out shells to go public at a time IPOs and road shows are out of favor. And no doubt some of the more recent arrivals on the investing side of the business are finding greener pastures.

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Luke Miels, GSK chief commercial officer

Lend­ing a hand to a biotech in trou­ble, GSK drops $75M cash to add late-stage an­tibi­ot­ic to port­fo­lio

GSK likes to take pride in being one of the few Big Pharma players still active in antibiotics R&D. And that means keeping tabs on what the field has to offer.

In a move to beef up the late-stage pipeline, GSK is licensing a late-stage antibiotic candidate from Spero Therapeutics. In doing so, it’s coming to the rescue of a struggling biotech that’s crumbled in the wake of an FDA rejection and raised doubts about its ability to carry on.

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Armed with cash, Bel­gian iP­SC play­er makes a play for Celyad’s cell ther­a­py man­u­fac­tur­ing site

A Belgian cell therapy player has netted a deal close to home.

Ncardia, a Belgium-based contract research company, spun out its cell therapy and manufacturing arm in April into a company called Cellistic. Now, the spin-out has acquired an 11,000-square-foot facility in the town of Mont-Saint-Guibert, Belgium, for the price of €6 million ($5.9 million) from Celyad Oncology. The deal is expected to close in Q2 of this year.

David Chang, Allogene CEO (Jeff Rumans)

Servi­er cuts off col­lab­o­ra­tion agree­ment with Al­lo­gene on CD19 prod­ucts, send­ing shares sput­ter­ing

Allogene Therapeutics said in an SEC filing today that French partner Servier has cut off its involvement in a partnership developing therapies directed against CD19, including the most advanced candidates in Allogene’s pipeline.

Shares of Allogene $ALLO, an outfit run by Kite vets Arie Belldegrun and research chief David Chang, fell by almost 10% on Wednesday, even as the San Francisco-based company said that Servier’s discontinuation “does not otherwise affect our current exclusive license for the development and commercialization of CD19 Products in the United States.”

Rahul Singhvi, Resilience CEO

Q&A: Re­silience boss Rahul Singhvi talks $2B US bio­man­u­fac­tur­ing ini­tia­tive and post Se­ries D deals

When the Biden administration announced last week, through an executive order, that it is investing $2 billion into domestic efforts to increase biotechnology and biomanufacturing efforts, a lot of ears perked up in the wider manufacturing world. Funding is going towards manufacturing infrastructure, training, R&D and security measures, among others, something that domestic manufacturers are bullish about.

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Lina Khan, FTC chair (Graeme Sloan/Sipa USA/Sipa via AP Images)

FTC chair Lina Khan to Sen­ate: Big Phar­ma M&A is still a pri­or­i­ty tar­get

As the Federal Trade Commission has already sought new ideas for analyzing pharma mergers, FTC chair Lina Khan reiterated Tuesday to a Senate subcommittee that reviewing Big Pharma mergers is a priority.

While comparing this merger analysis in the pharma space to the study of public utilities in the 1930s “that exposed rampant financial fraud,” Khan said in prepared testimony that the commission is going to target unlawful conduct.

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