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Lonza in two expansion deals

Lonza its to expand its two-year collaboration with Moderna to manufacture the drug substance for Moderna’ COVID-19 vaccine. This will lead to further expansion at its main site in Visp, Switzerland, as will another small molecule complex, which includes a dedicated line for antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) for an unnamed customer.

COVID continues to cause postponements

Mack-Brooks Exhibitions has announced the postponement of the fine and speciality chemicals trade show, Chemspec Europe 2021 in view of continued uncertainties regarding travel restrictions and event planning during the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year’s show was twice postponed and finally replaced with a digital event.

Chemspec Europe 2021, the 35th in the series, was originally scheduled for 19-20 May at Messe Frankfurt. It will now be a hybrid physical-digital event on 29-30 September, merging the “on-site offer with interactive digital networking opportunities”.

Recipharm board backs takeover bid

The board of Swedish-based CDMO Recipharm has unanimously recommended that shareholders accept a revised offer for the firm from Roar BidCo, a vehicle set up by investment organisation EQT IX and backed by chairman Lars Backsell and CEO Thomas Eldered. The offer period ends on 12 February. Roar BidCo has said that it does not plan any changes to the management team or for employees.

Germany: Associations reject industry closure idea

The German Chemical Industry Association (VCI) and the German Chemical Employers' Association (BAVC) have joined forces to “vehemently reject” calls for a three-week shutdown for the chemical-pharmaceutical industry. This has been suggested as part of a nationwide ‘hard lockdown’ to fight the rapid growth in COVID-19 infection.

Kaneka Eurogentec to make COVID-19 vaccine candidate

Kaneka Eurogentec, an affiliate of Japan’s Kaneka based at Liège, Belgium, has signed an agreement to make the INO-4800 DNA vaccine candidate for COVID-19 for Inovio Pharmaceuticals, a US biotech, at commercial scale in its GMP facility. Financial terms were not disclosed.

INO-4800 uses plasmid DNA as a drug substance and has just received US FDA clearance to move to the second part of its Phase II-III clinical trials. These trials have financial support from the US Department of Defense.

Croda, Novasep part of key COVID vaccines

Both Croda International and Novasep are involved in some of the vaccines nearing approval for use in the treatment of COVID-19 it has emerged. This follows on from many other announcements of development agreements involving other fine chemical companies earlier in the year.

Lonza moves further into ADCs

Lonza has opened the first of two manufacturing suites at its main site in Visp, Switzerland, for the manufacture of antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) linkers or payloads. This came shortly after an unrelated deal to manufacture antibodies to treat COVID-19 for AstraZeneca and the arrival of a new CEO with a Big Pharma background.

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