Michael Quirmbach, CordenPharma CEO

Two in­vestors team up for Cor­den­Phar­ma buy­out fol­low­ing mR­NA vac­cine suc­cess

In March, Cor­den­Phar­ma was list­ed among the phar­ma gi­ants picked by the Ger­man gov­ern­ment as re­cip­i­ents of more than $3 bil­lion to en­sure that the coun­try had enough pro­duc­tion ca­pac­i­ty to make Covid-19 vac­cines for fu­ture out­breaks. In­vestors at As­torg and ICIG seemed to have liked what they saw and an­nounced Mon­day that the pri­vate eq­ui­ty firms have teamed up to ac­quire the CD­MO.

With the ac­qui­si­tion, As­torg and ICIG will get a rapid­ly grow­ing com­pa­ny thanks to its in­volve­ment in the mR­NA vac­cine game. Cor­den has al­so po­si­tioned it­self as a key play­er in the world of pep­tides and high-po­ten­cy com­pounds for on­col­o­gy. It picked up Vi­for Phar­ma’s drug man­u­fac­tur­ing wing in De­cem­ber 2021, land­ing op­er­a­tions in Fri­bourg and Et­tin­gen, Switzer­land, and Lis­bon, Por­tu­gal.

As­torg will get those three sites, plus 2,600 em­ploy­ees in an­oth­er eight sites across the US and Eu­rope, as a part of the deal. The In­ter­na­tion­al Chem­i­cal In­vestors Group con­clud­ed that Cor­den would be best de­vel­oped with a part­ner in its next growth phase, the com­pa­ny said in a re­lease.

Ju­dith Char­p­en­tier

Cor­den serves 250-plus phar­ma and biotech com­pa­nies spe­cial­iz­ing in pep­tides, lipids and car­bo­hy­drates for mR­NA vac­cines and ther­a­peu­tics, high­ly po­tent and on­col­o­gy, in­jecta­bles, and small mol­e­cules. It of­fers ser­vices from ear­ly-stage de­vel­op­ment, all the way to large-scale com­mer­cial man­u­fac­tur­ing.

“The trans­ac­tion is the re­sult of our the­mat­ic sourc­ing ef­fort in phar­ma ser­vices. We iden­ti­fied the com­pa­ny as a lead­ing CD­MO fo­cused on some of the most promis­ing ar­eas of phar­ma R&D, and with a strong cus­tomer fo­cus and unique in­no­va­tion ca­pa­bil­i­ties,” said Ju­dith Char­p­en­tier, head of health­care at As­torg.

Fi­nan­cial terms of the deal were not dis­closed.

In a state­ment, Cor­den­Phar­ma CEO Michael Quirm­bach said:

I would like to per­son­al­ly thank Patrick Schnitzer and Dr. Achim Rie­mann for their trust, sup­port and com­mit­ment over the years in sup­port­ing Cor­den­Phar­ma’s growth and strate­gic vi­sion to be­come a lead­ing CD­MO. To­geth­er with As­torg we will con­tin­ue this ex­cit­ing jour­ney and fur­ther ac­cel­er­ate the growth as an or­ga­ni­za­tion across our 5 tech­nol­o­gy plat­forms.

Last sum­mer, Cor­den­Phar­ma was in the news when No­var­tis was hand­ed a com­plete re­sponse let­ter for its PC­SK9 drug in­clisir­an. The FDA could not car­ry out for­eign in­spec­tions dur­ing the peak of the pan­dem­ic, so prob­lems that arose at Cor­den’s Mi­lan, Italy site couldn’t be re­solved in time. But the firm con­tin­ued to sup­ply in­clisir­an for coun­tries out­side the US.

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In­no­v­a­tive MedTech De­mands Spe­cial­ist Clin­i­cal Tri­al Reg­u­la­to­ry Af­fairs and De­sign

Avance Clinical is the Australian CRO for international biotechs providing world-class clinical research services with FDA-accepted data across all phases. With Avance Clinical, biotech companies can leverage Australia’s supportive clinical trials environment which includes no IND requirement plus a 43.5% Government incentive rebate on clinical spend. The CRO has been delivering clinical drug development services for international biotechs for FDA and EMA regulatory approval for the past 24 years. The company has been recognized for the past two consecutive years with the prestigious Frost & Sullivan CRO Best Practices Award and a finalist in Informa Pharma’s Best CRO award for 2022.

Gold for adults, sil­ver for in­fants: Pfiz­er's Pre­vnar 2.0 head­ed to FDA months af­ter Mer­ck­'s green light

Pfizer was first to the finish line for the next-gen pneumococcal vaccine in adults, but Merck beat its rival with a jab for children in June.

Now, two months after Merck’s 15-valent Vaxneuvance won the FDA stamp of approval for kids, Pfizer is out with some late-stage data on its 20-valent shot for infants.

Known as Prevnar 20 for adults, Pfizer’s 20vPnC will head to the FDA by the end of this year for an approval request in infants, the Big Pharma said Friday morning. Discussions with the FDA will occur first and more late-stage pediatric trials are expected to read out soon, informing the regulatory pathway in other countries and regions.

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FDA ap­proves sec­ond in­di­ca­tion for As­traZeneca and Dai­ichi's En­her­tu in less than a week

AstraZeneca and Daiichi Sankyo’s antibody-drug conjugate Enhertu scored its second approval in less than a week, this time for a subset of lung cancer patients.

Enhertu received accelerated approval on Thursday to treat adults with unresectable or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) whose tumors have activating HER2 (ERBB2) mutations, and who have already received a prior systemic therapy.

J&J to re­move talc prod­ucts from shelves world­wide, re­plac­ing with corn­starch-based port­fo­lio

After controversially spinning out its talc liabilities and filing for bankruptcy in an attempt to settle 38,000 lawsuits, Johnson & Johnson is now changing up the formula for its baby powder products.

J&J is beginning the transition to an all cornstarch-based baby powder portfolio, the pharma giant announced on Thursday — just months after a federal judge ruled in favor of its “Texas two-step” bankruptcy to settle allegations that its talc products contained asbestos and caused cancer. An appeals court has since agreed to revisit that case.

CSL is gathering its four business units under a unified brand identity strategy (Credit: CSL company site)

CSL brings Se­qirus, Vi­for un­der par­ent um­brel­la brand in iden­ti­ty re­vamp

CSL is gathering its brands under the family name umbrella, renaming its vaccine and newly acquired nephrology specialty businesses with the parent initials.

CSL Seqirus and CSL Vifor join CSL Plasma and CSL Behring as the four now uniformly branded business units of the global biopharma. The Seqirus vaccine division was formed in 2015 with the combination of bioCSL and its purchase of Novartis’ flu vaccine business. CSL picked up Vifor Pharma late last year in an $11.7 billion deal for the nephrology, iron deficiency and cardio-renal drug developer.

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Ab­bott pumps $450M+ in­to new Ire­land-based man­u­fac­tur­ing site project and hir­ing spree

As Ireland continues to see more investments and building projects from pharma companies, another contender is looking to place more investment in the Emerald Isle.

According to a report from The Irish Times on Friday, Abbott Laboratories is investing €440 million, or about $451 million, to build a new manufacturing plant in Kilkenny, located in the country’s southeast, to make more of its glucose monitors.

No­var­tis re­ports two pa­tient deaths af­ter treat­ment with Zol­gens­ma

Two children with spinal muscular atrophy have died after receiving Novartis’ Zolgensma, a gene therapy designed as a one-time treatment for the rare fatal disease.

The deaths, which resulted from acute liver failure, occurred in Russia and Kazakhstan, Novartis confirmed in a statement to Endpoints News. Having notified health authorities across all the markets where Zolgensma is available, it will update the drug label “to specify that fatal acute liver failure has been reported,” a spokesperson wrote.

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Tony Coles, Cerevel CEO

Cerev­el takes the pub­lic of­fer­ing route, with a twist — rais­ing big mon­ey thanks to ri­val da­ta

As public biotechs seek to climb out of the bear market, a popular strategy to raise cash has been through public offerings on the heels of positive data. But one proposed raise Wednesday appeared to take advantage not of a company’s own data, but those from a competitor.

Cerevel Therapeutics plans to raise $250 million in a public offering and another $250 million in debt, the biotech announced Wednesday afternoon, even though it did not report any news on its pipeline. However, the move comes days after rival Karuna Therapeutics touted positive Phase III data in schizophrenia, a field where Cerevel is pursuing a similar program.

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Sanofi, GSK, Ha­le­on see stock prices dip and dive amid lit­i­ga­tion for re­called heart­burn drug

Zantac became one of the most well-known drugs on the market after being FDA-approved in 1983 — and now close to four decades later, lawsuits over safety concerns are rattling analysts and investors.

Sanofi, GSK and Haleon, GSK’s former consumer healthcare unit, have lost billions of dollars in market cap since Tuesday’s market close, according to Bloomberg. While Zantac is no longer on the market, the drop came after a suite of analysts, from Morgan Stanley and other firms, sounded the alarm on the potential impact of ongoing personal injury litigation.

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