Novartis To Acquire CDMO CellforCure for Cell and Gene Therapy Manufacturing

By Patricia Van Arnum - DCAT Editorial Director

January 11, 2019

Novartis has made an offer to acquire CellforCure, a contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) producing cell and gene therapies in Europe, from LFB, a French pharmaceutical company. The announcement was made December 20, 2018.

Under the proposed agreement, Novartis would acquire the share capital of CellforCure from LFB, including a cell and gene manufacturing facility located outside of Paris in Les Ulis, France and the related adjacent land. If the offer is accepted, CellforCure would become a wholly owned Novartis manufacturing site, joining the network of cell and gene therapy sites that include sites in Morris Plains, New Jersey and Stein, Switzerland, where construction continues to progress as planned.

In July 2018, Novartis announced that it had signed an agreement with CellforCure to produce chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapies, including Novartis’ Kymriah (tisagenlecleucel), a CAR-T cell therapy approved in the US, European Union, Switzerland, Canada, and Australia. Novartis and CellforCure have successfully completed technology transfer, and Kymriah clinical supply production is expected to begin by mid-2019.

Novartis has made several steps recently to strengthen and expand its cell and gene manufacturing, including signing a strategic licensing, collaboration and share purchase agreement with Cellular Biomedicine Group (CBMG) to manufacture and supply Kymriah in China; expanding an alliance with the Fraunhofer Institute in Germany to support manufacturing for clinical trials and post approval manufacturing; and a contract manufacturing collaboration in Japan.

The transaction is subject to usual and customary closing conditions, including employee consultation process and necessary regulatory approvals. If approved, the transaction is expected to be funded through available cash and close in the first half of 2019.

Source: Novartis