Biologics Contracting Demand Drives Cytovance Expansion

By Dan Stanton

- Last updated on GMT

Cytovance ups its microbial biologics capabilities
Cytovance ups its microbial biologics capabilities

Related tags Biotechnology Contract

Cytovance Biologics is once again expanding its manufacturing capabilities as CMOs compete to keep up with pharma’s growth rate in biologics.

The contract manufacturing organization (CMO) based in Oklahoma City has announced it will expand its biologics production following the recent addition of a second 100L and a 1000L fermenter to its manufacturing offerings, along with plans to extend the facility to house the new systems.

The news comes less than three months after Cytovance announced it was to increase its mammalian biologics​ capability at the site and when asked President and CEO Darren Head if this was an extension of January’s news, he said: “This new release is specific to our microbial production.”

“[Demand is coming from] our existing customers and there has been increased requests from potential new clients due to the increase in pharma in the area of biologics,” ​both mammalian and microbial.

Since Cytovance secured an equity investment of $22.5m​ from Great Point Partners in 2011, the company has seen several capacity expansions – including a 1,000L bioreactor​ added in February 2012, as well as the news from January – and a number of contracts inked. A deal penned last November to manufacture a monoclonal antibody for Taiwanese company Fountain BioPharma​ was just one in a series of contracts Cytovance has won outside the US.

This company plans to have the reactors operational by Q1 of FY2012 and will increase workforce at the site by 20 percent.

Biologics Contracting

For CMOs like Cytovance, the increasing interest in biologics is a tempting prospect and, according to Head, the “industry is expected to grow at a rate of approximately 15% over the [next] 2 years with the need for CMO’s capacity growing at a rate of 9.4%.”

Recently, a number of larger CMOs have entered the biologics manufacturing arena in response to the growth. Catalent​ invested in new technology earlier this month, whilst Lonza​ and Piramel​ have also been responsive in their biologics strategies.

However, at a recent session at Informex in Anaheim, California, it was suggested that CMO business had declined whilst biologic sales increased in the last few years. Speaking at the conference​, William Downey of High Tech Business Decisions said “there aren’t as many biotech companies as CMOs think there are.”

He also highlighted that yields in microbial productivity in phase III material were down for CMOs but up for biopharma companies manufacturing their own biologics.

Yet there was good news as Downey reported that CMO activity would pick up as outsourcing trends by biopharma companies would see up to 70% of their manufacturing budgets dedicated to third-party manufacturers. 

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