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Viral vector

Novasep in double exit

French-based CDMO Novasep has announced two sales. Henagen, its Belgium-based viral vectors operation, has been sold to Thermo Fisher Scientific for about €725 million, while, in a much smaller deal, it also intends to sell its chromatography equipment division to Sartorius Stedim Biotech.

Henagen includes two sites at Seneffe and Gosselies, with over 7,000 m2 of combined manufacturing space and about 400 employees, turning over €80 million in 2020. It offers contract manufacturing services for vaccines and therapies to biotechnology companies and large biopharma companies. Thermo Fisher is already a major player in the field, with four sites in Europe and North America.

The chromatography equipment division comprises resin-based batch and intensified chromatography systems, mainly for high-pressure, multi-use applications for smaller molecules. Novasep and Sartorius Stedim have been working together on an optimized system for a membrane-based, low-pressure chromatography that processes larger molecules more productively. This is expected to launched soon.

The division employs about 100 at different sites, mostly at Pompey in eastern France. Its sale, which is subject to works council consultation and regulatory approval, is described as being aligned with Novasep’s Rise-2 strategy “to focus the group towards our core business”, according to CEO Dr Michel Spagnol.

In late 2020, Novasep invested €6.5 million to add a 4,000-litre Hastelloy and a 1,600-litre glass-lined reactor to boost capacity for low to medium volume APIs at Chasse-sur-Rhône, France. Both feature high-performance thermal systems and are highly automated. A 1,500L, 15 bar hydrogenation reactor is also being moved to a new, dedicated area.

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