Industry Briefs: January 21, 2013

Published on: 

A roundup of additional company and people news from pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical companies, their suppliers, and contract-service providers.

Company News

Accelrys, a provider of scientific innovation lifecycle-management software, has agreed to acquire Vialis, a Switzerland-based systems integrator serving the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, chemicals, and agroscience industries. Under the agreement, Accelrys has purchased all of Vialis’ outstanding stock for approximately $5 million in cash. The acquisition includes potential for additional incentive consideration of up to approximately $5 million in cash, contingent upon meeting specified growth objectives over the next three years. Read More

Almac has completed its Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with Queens University Belfast intended to develop, improve, and embed bioprocesses in order to facilitate the delivery of novel products for its biocatalysis business. The project was awarded the highest grade of “Outstanding” by the KTP grading panel for it’s achievement in meeting KTP’s objectives. The overall partnership aim was to allow technology transfer of fermentation and molecular/microbiology expertise from Queens University to Almac. Almac met the specific partnership objectives by not only sharing a program of work with academics at Queens, but also attending training courses organized through University College London and embedding key learning back into the company. Read More

Amgen has announced plans to build a new manufacturing facility in the Tuas Biomedical Park area of Singapore. Over the next several years, Amgen anticipates investing approximately $200 million to build the aforementioned facility, which will initially focus on expanding Amgen’s manufacturing capability for monoclonal antibodies. The facility is expected to be capable of manufacturing both clinical and commercial products. Construction is expected to begin in the next few months, and the site will be staffed with both new recruits and experienced staff. Amgen is currently partnering with local universities to recruit for a number of positions in manufacturing and quality. Read More

Daiichi Sankyo and Ranbaxy Laboratories have agreed to integrate their business operations in Thailand, to leverage and maximize the synergies of the hybrid business model, which is expected to commence business on Apr. 1, 2013. Read More

DSM Pharmaceutical Products, the custom manufacturing and technology business of Royal DSM, has signed a nonexclusive license agreement with Amgen for access to DSM’s proprietary XD high cell-density process patents. Read More

G-CON has announced the completed delivery and installation of the POD system in PaxVax’s licensed GMP production facility based in San Diego, California, where PaxVax manufactures oral vaccines against infectious diseases. Read More

NanoSmart Pharmaceuticals, a private biotechnology company, has entered into a research collaboration agreement with the University of California Los Angeles to continue the development of NanoSmart’s drug-delivery platform for the treatment of cancer and other diseases. NanoSmart’s patented platform drug-delivery system uses human autoimmune antibodies that target several types of tumors. Read More

NeoStem, its subsidiary Progenitor Cell Therapy (PCT), and Adaptimmune have formed a services agreement under which PCT will provide services to support Adaptimmune’s NYESO-1c259-T cell-therapy product that is being developed for multiple oncology indications. PCT’s services will include the transfer and qualification of Adaptimmune’s manufacturing process for its NYESO-1c259-T cell therapy product candidate at PCT’s facility in Allendale, New Jersey, and subsequent manufacturing of the product for Adaptimmune’s clinical trials. Read More


Pfenex’s Reagent Proteins division’s manufacturing partner, Serum Institute of India, has begun construction of a new large-scale cGMP production facility for CRM197. CRM197 is a nontoxic mutant of diphtheria toxin having a single amino-acid substitution of glutamic acid for glycine. CRM197 is a well-defined protein and functions as a carrier for polysaccharides and haptens, making them immunogenic. It is used as a carrier protein in a number of approved conjugate vaccines for diseases, such as meningitis and pneumococcal bacterial infections. Pfenex CRM197 is a recombinant form expressed in Pseudomonas fluorescens using the Pfenex expression technology. The new facility, targeted for completion in 2014, will have annual capacity to produce in excess of 50 kilograms of cGMP grade CRM197. Read More

Sartorius Stedim Biotech has expanded its product array in the cell-culture range. The company signed a cooperation agreement with the Switzerland-based life-science group Lonza on a long-term, global collaboration in the field of cell-culture media. Read More

Synergy Pharmaceuticals, a developer of new drugs to treat gastrointestinal disorders and diseases, has closed its previously announced merger with Callisto Pharmaceuticals, effective Jan. 17, 2013. Read More

People News

AstraZeneca has announced several changes to its senior executive team. Read More

Bristol-Myers Squibb has appointed Mike Burgess as senior vice-president of discovery medicine and clinical pharmacology. Read More

The CDMO Norwich Pharmaceuticals has named Kristin Arnold vice-president of product development and technical services. Read More

Roche has appointed John C. Reed as head of Roche Pharma Research and Early Development and as a member of the expanded corporate executive committee, effective Apr. 2, 2013. Read More