Wyeth kicks off CMO agreement with Crucell

By Anna Lewcock

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Biotechnology, Vaccine

Crucell yesterday announced it had received the first orders from
US-headquartered Wyeth Biotech. The order represents the first move
following the finalisation of the contract manufacturing agreement
between the two companies at the end of 2005.

The agreement is for the formulation and filing of a meningitis vaccine, but Crucell remained tight-lipped regarding the volume of this and any further orders. The vaccine will be supplied from Crucell's Swiss subsidiary, Berna Biotech, which the company acquired earlier this year. The CMO agreement is expected to have the first business impact for Crucell in 2007. Wyeth Biotech is based in South County Dublin, and is Wyeth's latest investment in Ireland. The biopharmaceutical campus is one of the largest in the world, and having cost the company €1.8bn to establish is also the only facility in Europe to manufacture biopharmaceuticals, pharmaceuticals and vaccines within the same facility. The company currently manufactures three products at the site, Enbrel (etanercept) for the treatment of moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis, Prevnar (Pneumococcal 7-valent Conjugate Vaccine) for the prevention of serious pneumococcal diseases in young children, and Tygacil (tigecycline IV) a new alternative to current IV antibiotics. Netherlands-based Crucell is a biotechnology company focusing on the research, development and marketing of vaccines and antibodies to prevent and treat infectious diseases. Last month the company acquired Swedish specialist vaccine firm SBL Vaccin in a deal worth €39.4m, less than two months after also acquiring Florida-based Berna Products Corp, which gave them full control of the company's oral typhoid vaccine. Crucell's core portfolio includes vaccines against hepatitis B, five childhood diseases, influenza, and a variety of travel vaccines including the market's only aluminium-free hepatitis A vaccine.

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