CDMOs

The wave of CDMO capacity expansions continued into the new year with contract manufacturer ZhenGe Biotech raising $100 million in series C funding to build “multiple” 15,000-liter production lines, according to its press release last week.

Founded in 2017, the Shanghai-based company—which also has facilities in Maryland—claims expertise in monoclonal and bispecific antibodies, antibody-drug conjugates, fusion proteins and vaccines. The new round brings its total financing to $225…

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Merck KGaA will bolster its mRNA contract manufacturing business with the $780 million acquisition of Exelead, an Indiana-based CDMO, the multinational announced last week.

Exelead’s specialties include lipid nanoparticle-based drug delivery technology used in mRNA-based therapeutics, according to a Merck press release.

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Novo Nordisk will pour nearly $2.6 billion into three new manufacturing facilities and one existing plant at its production site in Denmark, the company announced Monday. The “vast majority” of the investment will go toward increasing production of active pharmaceutical ingredients, the press release said.

Meanwhile, Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies will allocate $300 million—of a previously announced $850 million investment to boost biologics capacity—to build a new production…

India’s Hilleman Laboratories is setting up in Singapore, a company press release said Monday. The Merck and Wellcome joint venture is investing $58 million over the next five years to develop a 30,000-square-foot facility focused on R&D and clinical trials “up to Phase II stage.” Expected to be fully operational by early 2023, the site will develop “affordable, high-value vaccines and biologics for Singapore as well as low- and middle-income countries.”

Meanwhile, Fujifilm…

Several manufacturers expanded their operations in the United States, per announcements and media reports last week.

First, U.S. multinational BD plans to boost its San Diego presence with a new 220,000-square-foot biosciences R&D facility, expected to open by end-2023, Fierce Biotech reported. Also, Chinese cancer specialist BeiGene said it is expanding its New Jersey footprint with a 400,000-square-foot, “state-of-the-art” manufacturing campus and clinical R&D facility,…

Baxter International’s CDMO unit plans a $100 million expansion to its sterile fill-finish manufacturing facility in western Germany, the company announced last week. The investment adds to a multibillion-dollar investment spree among manufacturers worldwide.

In related news, Samsung Biologics has bought land in Incheon, South Korea, where it plans a $259 million genetic medicines facility, the Korea Herald reported in early November.

Chinese CDMO WuXi Biologics launched its new 12,000-square-meter facility in its eponymous hometown last week. The plant will produce monoclonal antibodies, bispecifics and fusion proteins, among other drug products, with up to 60 million vials per year in capacity, the press release said.

The investment delivers an eighth global facility to the company.

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Catalent is investing an additional $230 million to expand viral vector manufacturing capacity at its Maryland gene therapy campus, the company announced Tuesday. The U.S. CDMO already pumped $130 million into the plant last year for Covid-19 vaccine production.

CDMOs have been expanding globally to keep up with demand for their products.

Serum Institute of India (SII) was on the move again this week. Its Covid-19 marketing subsidiary, Serum Life Sciences (SILS), will buy a 3.9% stake in Oxford Biomedica for just over $68 million, according to a Wednesday announcement from the British CDMO. Oxford Biomedica will use the investment to build a manufacturing plant at its existing “Oxbox” location by mid-2023 to supply “viral vector-based products, including vaccines.”

Last week, SILS took a roughly 15% stake in India’s…

Samsung Biologics will expand its CDMO business with the construction of two new plants, South Korean media reported Wednesday, citing a company statement. Geared toward vaccines and cell and gene therapies, the new facilities at its Incheon hub are in addition to a previously announced “Super Plant” already under construction, according to FiercePharma.
 
The Wall Street Journal said the projects are part of a new, $205 billion investment spree across Samsung’s myriad businesses…