Global Pharma Briefs: News from Cipla, CPI, ExoCoBio, and Vertex
A roundup of news from Africa (Cipla), South Korea (ExoCoBio), the UK (Center for Process Innovation), and the US (Vertex).
Cipla Reopens Mfg Facility in South Africa
Cipla, a Mumbai, India-based bio/pharmaceutical company, has reopened its manufacturing facility in Durban, South Africa and resumed operations after it experienced a looting incident.
After the looting incident in July (July 2021), Cipla implemented contingency measures, such as using its global supply chain and other manufacturing sites, to ensure continuity of medicine supply. Cipla also reports it had a good amount of buffer stock in other distribution centers across Africa, which helped to mitigate possible supply disruptions.
ExoCoBio To Invest $20 M in Exosome Mfg Facility
ExoCoBio, a Seoul, South Korea-based company focused on exosome-based regenerative aesthetics, regenerative medicine, and immunotherapies, has announced plans to invest approximately $20 million to build an exosome-based drug-manufacturing and R&D facility in Osong, Chungcheongbuk-do, South Korea.
The planned facility is a two-story building with 21,000 square feet per story on a 71,000-square-foot site. The facility will have two types of advanced exosome production lines: one for naïve stem cell exosomes of regenerative medicine and one for genetically engineered exosomes as a new therapeutic portfolio, both of which have been developed by ExoCoBio.
The project started in 2019, and construction began this month (August 2021).
ExoCoBio says it aims to apply for Phase I clinical trials in the US in 2023. It is developing a variety of exosome-based therapeutics against inflammatory diseases, such as atopic dermatitis, SARS-CoV-2, dupilumab facial redness, and others.
ExoCoBio is selling its exosome products in the US through its long-term partner and exclusive distributor, Benev Company, a Mission Viejo, California-based manufacturer and distributor of skincare and regenerative solution products and medical devices.
CPI Updates Plans for Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Center
The Center for Process Innovation (CPI), the process manufacturing arm of the UK government’s network of Catapult centers that are designed to encourage innovation in specific areas, has provided an update on its Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Center in Renfrewshire, Scotland
The £35-million ($73-million) facility is set to develop pharmaceutical manufacturing processes starting in early 2022. The facility is part a public–private collaboration between CPI, the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland, UK Research and Innovation, the UK national funding agency for science and research, Scottish Enterprise, a government economic development organization, and founding industry partners, AstraZeneca and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).
Operating at commercial scale, the facility will industrialize techniques for pharmaceutical production, including real-time release of drugs and integrated process analytics.
Internal fit-out of the facility will be completed in early 2022. In the first five years of its operation, the center is expected to support over 100 jobs, both technical and non-technical, and generate a £200-million ($274-million) investment in advanced technologies.
Source: Center for Process Innovation
Vertex, Arbor BioTech in $1.2-Bn Gene-Therapy Pact
Vertex Pharmaceuticals, a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based bio/pharmaceutical company, has formed a collaboration, worth up to $1.2 billion, with Arbor Biotechnologies, a Cambridge, Massachusetts bio/pharmaceutical company, to develop ex vivo engineered cell therapies for select diseases using Arbor’s proprietary CRISPR gene-editing technology.
The agreement between Arbor and Vertex builds upon the companies’ first partnership established in 2018. Under this new partnership, Vertex will receive rights to use Arbor’s technology to research and develop ex vivo engineered cell therapies toward Vertex’s goal of generating insulin-producing hypoimmune islet cells for treating Type 1 diabetes, developing new approaches in sickle cell disease, beta thalassemia, a rare blood disorder, and other diseases.
Under the the agreement, Arbor will receive an upfront cash payment and is eligible to receive up to $1.2 billion in potential payments based upon the successful achievement of specified research, development, regulatory, and commercial milestones across up to seven potential programs. In addition, Vertex will pay tiered royalties on future net sales on any products that may result from this collaboration. Vertex will also make an investment in Arbor in the form of a convertible note.