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More CDMOs in COVID-19 deals

The ongoing race to develop the first effective vaccines for the treatment of COVID-19 continues to generate manufacturing and development agreements between pharmaceutical giants, biotechs and CDMOs.

Most recently, Sterling Pharma Solutions agreed to carry out final purification of drug product for Moleculin Biotech’s WP1122 drug candidate from its site in Cary, North Carolina. Moleculin is about to submit an IND for this to the FDA and wanted a reliable source of supply in the US.

Kodak enters pharma with government loan

The US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) has signed a letter of interest to provide a $765 million loan to Eastman Kodak to support the launch of Kodak Pharmaceuticals at a ceremony at the company’s main site in Rochester, New York state. It was addressed remotely by President Trump and State Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Pharma continues to drive Lonza growth

Lonza has reported 7.7% growth in sales in constant currency terms during 1H 2020 to CHF 3,074 million, with a core EBITDA margin of 29.1%. This, as in 2019, was largely driven by the Lonza Pharma Biotech & Nutrition (LBPN) segment, which had 10.8%3 sales growth and a margin of 34.1%.

CordenPharma in peptide expansion

CordenPharma has announced the addition of a 3,000-litre solid-phase peptide synthesis (SPPS) vessel at its GMP API facility in Boulder, Colorado. This site, which was formerly owned by Roche, already has a 10,000-litre SPPS vessel and a 100 cm high-pressure reverse phase purification column, and is claimed to have the largest capacity of any peptide API facility.

Evotec initiates ‘Campus Curie’ in Toulouse

Drug discovery firm Evotec, which also owns the CDMO Aptuit, has acquired the ‘Biopark by Sanofi’ (BBS) operation in Toulouse, France, and will rename it ‘Campus Curie’. The 19 employees are all transferring. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The company said that this acquisition will allow it “to significantly expand its existing capacities at the site over the near to mid-term while retaining maximum flexibility to build up long-term capacity as needed”.

Carlyle Group invests in Piramal

Via CA Clover Intermediate II Investments, private equity firm the Carlyle Group is to invest about $940 million in fresh equity capital for a 20% stake in Piramal Pharma, the healthcare subsidiary of Indian conglomerate Piramal Enterprises (PEL). This values the business at $2,775 million with an upside component of up to $360 million depending on the company’s performance this financial year.

Cambrex invests in Sweden

Small molecule CDMO Cambrex is to spend $3.6 million to increase flexible drug substance manufacturing capacity by 6 m3 (25%) at Karlskoga, Sweden, in response to growing demand for commercial-scale API manufacturing. Engineering work has already commenced and should be completed by November.

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