The U.K. is investing £38 million in its National Biologics Manufacturing Centre, part of the country's "High Value Manufacturing Catapult" effort started several years ago to increase its presence in biologics.
Japanese drugmaker Kyowa Hakko Kirin, which develops its own drugs and is in a partnership with Fuji to make biosimilars, has completed construction on a new active pharmaceutical plant for biologics.
Sanofi is joining forces with UCB to study new small-molecule approaches to treating inflammatory conditions like arthritis, looking for an easier form of administration to some of the blockbuster injected biologics that dominate the field. The pharma giant is ready to spend more than $138 million for a package of milestones and an upfront payment to UCB in exchange for the partnering arrangement with its NewMedicines research arm.
One of the signal achievements for the biotech industry in the Affordable Care Act was a provision granting 12 years of market exclusivity to biologics. The decade-plus period of protection against generic competition ensured that biologics would remain center stage in the R&D world, especially as Big Pharma tumbled over the patent cliff as it tried to rethink its megablockbuster-sized budgets for drug development.
Pfizer is partnering with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to see if they can find new processes that will cut costs and increase efficiency, the Boston Business Journal reports.
With the the coming entry of biosimilars in the U.S. and expansion of that market in Europe, biologic drugs are going to be in greater demand, as will the contract manufacturers who can supply the cell lines and special services needed to get them to market. Okalahoma-based Cytovance Biologics is joining a number of CMOs that are adding capacities to tap that growth.
Swiss drug ingredient and chemical maker Lonza has reorganized its drug ingredient and custom pharma manufacturing units and is closing a U.S. plant to reduce costs, but so far the move has resulted in lower sales in pharma.
Pall, which has been supplying drug manufacturers with filtration equipment for a long time, has decided to broaden its place in the biopharma manufacturing equipment industry, adding single-use bioreactors and supplies with a deal to buy a division of ATMI.
GE Healthcare is tapping further into the global buildup in biologics manufacturing capacity with a $1 billion deal that gives it three businesses that Thermo Fisher Scientific has decided to unload, including its HyClone cell culture media and sera operation.
Biosimilars are expected to become a significant piece of the generics business worldwide, and Alvogen is spending $250 million to build a facility in Iceland to develop and manufacture biosimilars.