Wuxi

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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Health science conglomerate Danaher will acquire North Dakota-based CDMO Aldevron for approximately $9.6 billion in cash, the former announced last week. Aldevron, which manufactures plasmid DNA, mRNA and recombinant proteins for companies including Moderna, will operate as a standalone business within Danaher’s Life Sciences segment, the press release said. Danaher’s holdings include diagnostics specialists Cepheid and Beckman Coulter as well as a biologics manufacturing unit the Washington…

Chinese CDMO WuXi Biologics announced last week that it has bought Pfizer’s GMP biologics plant in Hangzhou. WuXi expects production at the facility—which houses two 2,000-liter single-use bioreactors and fill-finish capabilities—to begin shortly after the deal closes in the first half of the year. WuXi did not disclose financial terms for the transaction. Pfizer invested $350 million in the plant in 2016 in hopes of entering the local biosimilars market.

Meanwhile, WuXi announced in…

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Basel-based Lonza announced Monday that it will sell its specialty ingredients division to private equity firms Bain Capital and Cinven for $4.7 billion, allowing the CDMO to “refocus its business” on the healthcare industry, according to its press release.

In other CDMO news, Shanghai-based WuXi AppTec subsidiary WuXi STA announced last week that it will buy Bristol Myers Squibb’s tablet and capsule manufacturing facility in Couvet, Switzerland for an undisclosed price. WuXi AppTec’s…

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WuXi Biologics this week continued its rapid global expansion, signing a lease for its third U.S. clinical manufacturing facility—part of its drive to reach 280,000 liters of biopharmaceutical production worldwide by 2022, according to the press release.

The Shanghai-based contract development and manufacturing organization signed the 10-year deal for a 66,000 square foot New Jersey site that it expects to have operational later this year, with 6,000 liters of bioreactor capacity.…

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Continuing a string of international expansions, China’s WuXi Biologics announced this week that it will build a new biomanufacturing facility in Boston. The 150-person plant will become operational in 2022, WuXi said—with media reports that the investment is costing the company $60 million.

In January, the contract development and manufacturing organization took over one of Bayer’s plants in Leverkusen, Germany, both for its own use and to provide backup supply for the multinational…

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As the United States eclipsed China in confirmed cases, more vaccines neared human trials and funders made over $330 million in new commitments to fight Covid-19.

The week’s noteworthy developments included:

Vaccines

On vaccines, the University of Oxford announced today that it has begun recruiting volunteers for clinical trials—set to begin in weeks—of ChAdOx1 nCov-19, its adenovirus vector-based shot.

Sanofi announced today a collaboration with Massachusetts…

Chinese contract drugs manufacturer WuXi Biologics said last week that it has officially signed a 20-year manufacturing deal—valued at approximately $3 billion—with a mystery “global vaccine leader.” The company first announced a letter of intent for the partnership in May 2019.

Per the contract, WuXi is building a $240 million vaccine facility in Ireland—expected to be operational in 2022—to manufacture one of its undisclosed partner’s key vaccine products for the global market.

Companies in the United States and China continued the race to develop Covid-19 vaccines, drugs and diagnostics, with new announcements this week and last.

Leading the vaccine announcements was Massachusetts-based Moderna, which has shipped the first batch of its messenger RNA-based shot for Phase 1 testing by the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), the company said Monday. Close on Moderna’s heels, Maryland’s Novavax said today that it “has produced and…

Announcements of product development initiatives have come fast and furious this week after China earlier this month released to researchers the genetic code of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) originating in Wuhan, and just as WHO today declared the outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.

Vaccines

Commitments to 2019-nCoV vaccines dominated headlines with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) leading the slew of press releases by…