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Further pharma investment at Lonza

Lonza has recently announced three specific investments in the pharma sector in recent weeks. It will build two new customer-dedicated conjugation suites for antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) at Visp, Switzerland, while adding particle engineering and drug product development at two sites in the US.

Sterling buys into ADC Biotechnology

Pharmaceutical CDMO Sterling Pharma Solutions has announced a new strategic partnership with ADC Biotechnology, a specialist in antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs). Both companies are UK-based.

Sterling will make an unspecified but significant investment in ADC Bio with a view to acquiring it in Q1 2021, subject to due diligence. The businesses will then work together to develop an integrated service offering for existing and potential customers, which combines ADC Bio’s expertise with Sterling’s in high potency small molecules.

Further GMP expansion in peptides for CordenPharma

CordenPharma has announced the approval of a long-term expansion initiative “to further increase our flexibility, efficiency and ultimately, cost-effective production” at its solid-phase peptide synthesis (SPPS) in Boulder, Colorado. This follows the installation of an extra-large 3,000L SPPS vessel at the site earlier this year in response to growing demand for peptide APIs.

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.

Cambrex expands US API capacity

Small molecule CDMO Cambrex is spending $50 million to expand its mid- and large-scale API manufacturing capacity in Charles City, Iowa. This is the sixth major investment at the site in the past eight years and follows on from a recent, smaller expansion at the site in Karlskroga, Sweden.

CordenPharma further expands peptides

CordenPharma is to expand non-GMP solid-phase peptide synthesis (SPPS) capacity at its centre of excellence for peptide process development and non-GMP manufacturing at Frankfurt, Germany. This should be complete in Q3 2021. The amount invested has not been disclosed.

The investment will increase lab space by 25% and add a dedicated explosionproof area. The latter will be supported by a tank farm, which, the company said, “will allow for the introduction of regular solvents, as well as compatibility with our green peptide manufacturing”.

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