BUSINESS INSIGHTS, PHARMACY MARKET
PCI Pharma Services | March 20, 2023
PCI Pharma Services (PCI), a leading global contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO), announced plans for a new 200,000-square-foot facility in Rockford, Illinois to enhance the organization’s capacity in injectable drug-device combination product assembly of both biologics and small molecules. Building on PCI’s leadership in this space with its Philadelphia Biotech Center of Excellence, the new facility is the second expansion building off the success in Philadelphia and will house over 20 dedicated customer suites with multiformat machines for the assembly and packaging of vials, pre-filled syringes, auto-injectors, and pen-cartridge combinations. This machinery can be used for the glucagon-like peptide 1 agonists (GLP-1) class of drugs prescribed to treat diabetes and obesity, as well as those needed for oncology treatment and autoimmune diseases.
PCI’s Rockford location will have extensive product testing capability, state-of-the art top-load cartoning technology, and industry leading injector and pen assembly equipment. Additional capabilities include on-site cold storage, high-speed vial labeling, assembly, and packaging of multiformat autoinjectors, serialization, testing, and drug product release.
“We see the tremendous impact that we can make with patients with this investment,” said Salim Haffar, CEO of PCI Pharma Services. “The need for injectable drug-delivery device combination product capacity and expertise is critical, and we are responding with a world-class facility to address the future demands of our global clients so they can focus on developing therapies to improve the lives of patients with serious chronic conditions.”
The $50 million investment in Rockford will amplify PCI’s specialty drug leadership presence in the Midwest, adding to clinical and commercial sterile fill-finish capabilities in Madison, Wisconsin. The new facility will provide a second hub within the U.S., expanding from PCI’s foundation in the Northeast, with Bedford, New Hampshire’s campus growth in aseptic processing. PCI also has sterile fill-finish capabilities at its Leon, Spain; San Diego, California; and Melbourne, Australia locations. The expansion in Rockford is expected to bring 250 jobs to the region in the next two years, with continued growth over three to five years. The site is expected to be fully operational in summer 2024.
“With this new facility, we will be able to serve all clients focused on injectable drug products including biologics with the equipment and capacity to make life-changing medicines,” said Gil Valadez, Senior Vice President, Commercial Packaging Technology, PCI Pharma Services. “We want to help our clients by managing the technical aspects of drug manufacturing, engineering, and delivery, so they can focus on what’s most important: delivering quality products to meet patient needs. That's what PCI is ultimately all about.”
About the Rockford, IL Facility
Rockford is the largest of PCI’s 30 locations across the U.S., European, and Asia Pacific regions, providing industry-leading services for the clinical and commercial packaging of a diverse portfolio of products and specialized delivery forms destined to reach more than 100 countries across the world. The gated secured facility is classified by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) as Schedule 3. It features temperature and humidity control, an approved Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) and offers TF1 and Uhlmann blistering, vibratory and slat filler bottling, powder filling, cartoning, carding, kitting and serialization capabilities. Warehouse storage includes freezer storage -15°C to -30°C and cold storage 2°C to 8°C.
About PCI Pharma Services
PCI is a leading global CDMO, providing clients with integrated end-to-end drug development, manufacturing and packaging capabilities that increase their products’ speed to market and opportunities for commercial success. PCI brings the proven experience that comes with more than 50 successful product launches each year and over five decades in the healthcare services business. We currently have 30 sites across seven countries (Australia, Canada, U.S., Ireland, Wales, Germany and Spain) and over 5,000 employees that work to bring life-changing therapies to patients. Leading technology and continued investment enable us to address global drug development needs throughout the entire product life cycle – from manufacturing capabilities through the clinical trial supply chain and into commercialization. Our clients view us as an extension of their business and a collaborative partner with the shared goal of improving patients’ lives.
RESEARCH, PHARMA TECH
Biocytogen | March 09, 2023
On March 8, 2023, Biocytogen Pharmaceuticals (Beijing) Co., Ltd. (Biocytogen) announced a non-exclusive license agreement with Janssen Biotech, Inc., one of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson (Janssen). The deal was facilitated by Johnson & Johnson Innovation LLC.
Under the agreement, Janssen and its affiliates have been granted a global, non-exclusive license to utilize Biocytogen's RenLite® platform and its underlying intellectual property to research, discover, develop, manufacture and commercialize fully human antibody therapeutics, as well as other biological therapeutics, for unlimited drug targets and indications.
RenLite® is a part of Biocytogen's RenMiceTM family of completely human antibodies. RenLite® mice can produce fully human antibody candidates with high affinity, specificity, variety, and druggability, as well as a common light chain for further assembly of multispecific and bispecific antibodies with minimal mismatch and high success rate. In addition, the multispecific and bispecific antibodies assembled following the discovery of RenLite® feature a conventional antibody structure and good physiochemical characteristics that are beneficial for downstream CMC development.
Biocytogen is a leading biotech company that offers comprehensive solutions to the global biomedical community for developing next-generation antibody drugs. It has created a streamlined platform for efficient antibody drug discovery and validation using advanced gene editing technology and modern animal facilities. This includes animal model creation, therapeutic antibody discovery through their RenMab™ mice, and preclinical validation studies in vivo and in vitro. Biocytogen partners with over 70% of the leading biotech and pharmaceutical companies worldwide to develop innovative medicines for a healthier world. The company is a leading figure in the field of biomedical research, pushing the boundaries of what is possible in this critical area of study.
RESEARCH, PHARMA TECH
Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. | March 10, 2023
Ionis Pharmaceuticals, a leading RNA-targeted therapy firm, recently announced that the USFDA has accepted for review a new drug application (NDA) for eplontersen. Eplontersen is an investigational antisense medicine designed to reduce the production of transthyretin (TTR) protein and treat hereditary and non-hereditary forms of ATTR amyloidosis (ATTR).
The NDA has been given a Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) action date of December 22, 2023. The FDA has declared that no review concerns were detected and made no new data requests. The FDA also stated that it does not intend to conduct a meeting of the advisory committee to discuss the application.
ATTR amyloidosis is a systemic disease caused by the accumulation of TTR protein in organs, leading to progressive organ damage and eventually death. Patients with hereditary transthyretin-mediated amyloid polyneuropathy (ATTRv-PN) experience ongoing debilitating nerve damage throughout their bodies, resulting in the progressive loss of motor function.
The NDA for eplontersen is based on results from the global Phase 3 NEURO-TTRansform study showcased at the International Symposium on Amyloidosis (ISA). In the study, eplontersen showcased a statistically significant and clinically meaningful change relative to the baseline for its co-primary and critical secondary endpoints compared to the external placebo group. In addition, Eplontersen also demonstrated a favorable safety and tolerability profile.
Ionis and AstraZeneca announced a strategic partnership to develop and commercialize eplontersen in December 2021. Eplontersen is being developed and commercialized jointly by both businesses in the United States and will be created and commercialized by AstraZeneca throughout the rest of the globe, except Latin America.
The FDA granted eplontersen Orphan Drug Designation in the United States in January 2022. Eplontersen is also being studied in the worldwide Phase 3 CARDIO-TTRansform trial for transthyretin amyloid cardiomyopathy (ATTR-CM), a systemic, progressive, and deadly disorder leading to progressive heart failure and death within 3 to 5 years after disease start.
About Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a leading biopharmaceutical company headquartered in Carlsbad, California. Its unique antisense technology platform allows them to develop RNA-targeted therapies that modify the production of disease-causing proteins, leading to the development of treatments for rare genetic disorders, cardiovascular diseases, and neurodegenerative diseases. The company's most significant achievement is developing and commercializing Spinraza, the first approved treatment for spinal muscular atrophy. Ionis Pharmaceuticals has also developed drugs for other rare diseases, including transthyretin amyloidosis, Huntington's disease, and myotonic dystrophy type 1.