Thermo Fisher Scientific has moved to buy viral vector developer and producer Brammer Bio for $ 1.7 billion in cash, giving it a new foothold in the cell and gene therapy market.
Thermo Fisher plans to shed CDMO along with its nearly 600 employees, mainly in Massachusetts and Florida, into its pharmaceutical service as part of the lab product and service segment.
The promise of lab equipment considered that Brammer Bio will deliver $ 250 million in annual sales by the end of 2019, and expects growth to exceed the 25% percentage expected for the larger gene and cell therapy market.
"Gene therapy is an area of increasing focus for our customers and is developing rapidly, given its potential to treat a variety of genetic disorders," Thermo Fisher President and CEO Marc Casper said in a statement.
"The combination of Brammer Bio's viral vector properties with our GMP production expertise and proprietary bioprocess and cell culture technologies uniquely position us to work with our customers to drive the development of this incredibly fast growing market," Casper added. The companies fully expect the transaction at the end of the second quarter this year.
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The FDA expects a new increase in cell and gene therapy programs over the coming years, including at least 200 new drug delivery surveys annually , as of 2020. In 2025, the agency foresees that it will approve 10 to 20 products each year, largely driven by advances in delivery platforms, such as virus vectors.
More recently, Big Biotech has shown new renewed interest in acquiring smaller cell and gene therapy developers – with Pfizer buying a stake and future purchasing opportunity in the rare disease-focused Vivet Therapeutics, while Biogen agreed to divorce $ 877 million for Nightstar Therapeutics. and its pipeline of gene therapies.
RELATED: Biogen-Nightstar deal lights up gene therapy fetus  In other countries, Thermo Fisher has invested in its own biological and sterile liquid production operation, beating $ 150 million to increase capacity on three sides in their CDMO network.
Each site, including one in North Carolina and two in Italy, will receive aseptic fill lines and insulator technology, with construction expected to be completed within the next two years.