CDMO, CMO, Supplier Roundup in Supporting COVID-19 Projects

By Miranda Greenberg -

September 3, 2020

The latest from CDMOs/CMOs and suppliers in COVID-19 projects featuring Thermo Fisher Scientific and iBio Inc.

Biologics Manufacturing

iBio, Planet Biotechnology in Pact for COVID-19 Therapeutic
iBio Inc., a New York-based CDMO using plant-based biomanufacturing, has entered into an exclusive worldwide license agreement with Planet Biotechnology, a Hayward, California-based clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, for the development of Planet’s COVID-19 therapeutic candidate, ACE2-Fc.

ACE2-Fc is a recombinant protein comprised of human angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) fused to a human immunoglobulin G Fc fragment (Fc). As an immunoadhesin, ACE2-Fc targets the coronavirus virions directly by using the ACE2 extracellular domain as a decoy to bind the spike protein and block infection of healthy cells while the fused Fc domain prolongs the life of the protein in circulation. The design is expected to bring the benefit of a traditional neutralizing antibody while prospectively limiting the potential for “viral escape” given that ACE2 is also the target receptor for coronavirus for cell entry.

Under the terms of the agreement, iBio obtained an exclusive license to Planet’s ACE2-Fc. Planet is eligible to receive certain pre-specified payments upon achievement of clinical development milestones. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Source: iBio Inc.

General

Thermo Fisher Opens New Site for Mfg COVID-19 Sample Collection Products
Thermo Fisher Scientific has opened a new $40-million facility in Lenexa, Kansas dedicated to viral transport media (VTM) production. The site will continue to expand to meet demand for COVID-19 testing. The facility has created more than 300 new full-time jobs and added 120,000 square feet of manufacturing capacity.

In early May, Thermo Fisher received a contract from the US government to provide a significant quantity of highly specialized VTM for COVID-19 sample collection. VTM is dispensed into plastic tubes that are used to collect and transport clinical specimens containing viruses. Thermo Fisher says this ensures that the sample collected from a COVID-19 nose swab maintains viability while it is shipped to a lab for testing. Thermo Fisher says it has ramped up production of VTM in Lenexa from 50,000 units per week to now more than 8 million units per week since the new facility began production in early July (July 2020).

Source: Thermo Fisher Scientific