HGS enlists Eden for client indentification

By Gareth Macdonald

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Pharmaceutical industry Pharmacology

UK-based Eden Biodesign has been selected as marketing services partner for US drug developer Human Genome Sciences (HGS).

Under the new deal Eden will help HGS identify new pharmaceutical industry clients, particularly those interested in using the firm’s good manufacturing practice (GMP) accredited cell culture-based production facility in Rockville, Maryland.

The firms say they will offer a range of process development, scale-up and technology transfer services to customers seeking to expand production to an industrial level. The partnership will also provide full analytical and regulatory support in a bid to help clients expedite the commercial launch of candidate drugs..

In March, a survey by BioPortfolio​ reported that the biopharmaceutical manufacturing industry was worth some $80bn (€54.3bn) last year. The analysts predicted that, with around 2,000 such products currently in clinical development, the demand for production capacity is likely to increase markedly in the next few years.

Similarly a Frost and Sullivan​ report released late last week, forecast that the expected influx of biopharmaceuticals will create a huge opportunity for contract manufacturing specialists, particularly given big pharma’s increasing reliance on outsourcing. The authors also argued that the emergence of ‘virtual pharma’ as a successful, risk-sharing business model is likely to be a major driver for the pharmaceutical contract manufacturing markets.

Commenting on the HGS deal, Crawford Brown, Eden’s CEO, said: “This alliance is particularly significant for Eden Biodesign and we are delighted that such a prestigious company as Human Genome Sciences has recognised Eden Biodesign’s technical excellence, global marketing reach and strong track record.​”

Brown added that Eden’s: “growing portfolio of successful clients may now also have seamless access to Human Genome Sciences’ world leading expertise in late-stage process development and state-of-the-art large scale production facilities as their products progress towards, and in to, commercial launch.​”

Curran Simpson, Senior Vice President of Operations, HGS, said: “Eden Biodesign’s international business development presence and biopharmaceutical manufacturing expertise make them a partner of choice. Eden shares our commitment to technical excellence and brings considerable international regulatory experience and a proven history in biopharmaceutical development to our relationship​”.

HGS’ 2nd qtr losses up on late-stage costs

In July, HGS reported second quarter revenue of $11.6m, up from $9m last year. The firm explained that the majority of its turnover was derived from its agreement to co-develop the chronic hepatitis C treatment Albuferon (albinterferon alfa-2b) with Swiss drug major Novartis.

Despite this revenue growth, costs associated with drugs in its late stage pipeline, particularly the lupus treatment candidate LymphoStat-B (belimumab) that it is developing with GlaxoSmithKline, resulted in a 37 per cent increase in losses for the period.

HGS’ manufacturing expenditure also increased as it ramped up production of the anti-anthrax monoclonal antibody (MAb) ABthrax (raxibacumab) under a federal contract to supply doses to the US Department of Health and Human Services for further testing.

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