Avitide, an organization that spun out of an Ivy League lab with a option to rapidly and effectively purify biologic medicine, is being acquired for $150 million by world bioprocessing vendor Repligen, which goals to make use of the expertise to bolster its choices to gene remedy builders.
Lebanon, New Hampshire-based Avitide doesn’t make any medicine, however its expertise is essential for manufacturing them. The corporate makes a speciality of a section of organic drug manufacturing referred to as chromatography, which is a way for separating the components of a combination. Within the manufacturing of monoclonal antibodies, for instance, chromatography separates the antibodies from the parts used to provide them. This purification course of can take 5 or 6 steps, however Avitide cuts it down to at least one or two, making it quicker whereas on the identical time minimizing product loss, CEO Kevin Isett advised MedCity Information in 2015.
Chromatography makes use of affinity ligands, molecules that particularly bind to a drug and let the remainder of the parts of a combination wash away. Waltham, Massachusetts-based Repligen makes Protein A affinity ligands, which its life sciences trade prospects use to purify monoclonal antibodies. Two years in the past, the corporate began a partnership with Navigo Proteins to co-develop a number of affinity ligands. Repligen holds commercialization rights to these ligands.
Repligen framed the Avitide acquisition as complementary to its Navigo alliance, explaining in an investor presentation that the New Hampshire firm broadens the bioprocessing vendor’s scope past Protein A affinity ligands. Whereas Avitide’s purification capabilities apply to a number of lessons of biologics, Repligen singled out gene remedy as a key one. The corporate famous that Avitide has three affinity ligands for purifying adeno-associated viruses, that are utilized in gene therapies. These ligands are anticipated to be prepared for business launch later this yr and subsequent yr, Repligen mentioned within the presentation.
In its 2020 annual report, Repligen cited trade reviews as projecting annual income progress of 20% to 30% for the cell and gene remedy market over the subsequent 5 years. The report added that the corporate is nicely positioned to assist this market, explicit in making the plasmids and viral vectors utilized in gene therapies.
Extra affinity ligands are on the best way. Avitide and the Navigo partnership every present “best-in-class screening” for affinity ligands throughout the spectrum of biologic medicine, the corporate mentioned within the presentation. Particularly, Avitide brings the benefit of velocity. Repligen mentioned that Avitide can uncover ligands in about six weeks in comparison with different approaches that take 4 to 6 months.
Avitide spun out of Dartmouth Faculty in 2013. The corporate’s web site says its expertise is utilized by 18 companions spanning 34 packages from preclinical stage to commercialized merchandise. These companions vary in dimension from venture-backed biotechs to massive biopharmaceutical firms. Disclosed companions embody Allergan (now a part of AbbVie) and Gemini Therapeutics. Earlier this yr, Avitide rolled out purification merchandise developed to be used within the manufacturing of Covid-19 vaccines.
Repligen reported greater than $366 million in complete income in 2020. Its prospects embody pharmaceutical firms and contract producers. Avitide’s fiscal 2020 income was $2.5 million, in line with the investor presentation. Gross sales are projected to succeed in $4.5 million in fiscal 2021, then greater than double to about $10 million within the subsequent fiscal yr. Avitide at present outsources its ligand manufacturing and scale-up work. With the acquisition, that work can be accomplished by Repligen. In a ready assertion, Repligen CEO Tony Hunt mentioned Avitide’s complete employees, totaling 40, is becoming a member of Repligen.
“Collectively, we anticipate bringing many new merchandise to market over the approaching years, straight addressing the rising want for affinity options in gene remedy and different rising modalities,” he mentioned.
In keeping with securities filings, Avitide had raised greater than $40 million, most lately a $10 million financing in 2019. Its buyers embody Polaris Companions, OrbiMed Advisors, and NeoMed Administration. With Avitide’s acquisition, these monetary backers are in line to share in a payout that breaks all the way down to $75 million money and $75 million in Repligen widespread inventory. Avitide is eligible to earn extra tied to efficiency; the quantities and the efficiency targets weren’t disclosed. Repligen mentioned it expects to shut the transaction by the top of this month.
Photograph by Flickr person Petra B. Fritz through a Artistic Commons license