Three Industry Leaders Form New Venture to Create Scalable Manufacturing Platforms for Cell and Gene Therapies
January 21, 2020
MIAMI, Fla., January 21, 2020 – Bio-Techne, Fresenius Kabi, and Wilson Wolf have formed a new joint venture company to provide dedicated support to researchers and biopharmaceutical companies in the field of cell and gene therapy.
The joint venture will focus on providing scalable manufacturing technologies and processes needed to develop and commercialize new cell and gene therapies. Each of the joint venture partners are contributing best-in-class products and unique expertise to the new venture.
Each company in the joint venture has been working independently for years to develop technology that helps advance the manufacturing efficiency of cell and gene therapies. Consolidating these technologies and competencies is designed to establish the foundation of a superior manufacturing platform. Wilson Wolf’s patented G-Rex® technology is specifically designed as a scalable and practical platform for generation of personalized cell therapies. Bio-Techne’s broad range of proteins, reagents, media, and gene-editing technologies are designed to activate, reprogram, and stimulate cell growth. Fresenius Kabi’s Lovo® cell processing system washes, concentrates, and harvests cells at a scale needed to develop and commercialize cell and gene therapies.
Over the next decade, cell and gene therapies are poised to make groundbreaking improvements in health care on a worldwide basis. The joint venture intends to be integrally involved by continuing to create and provide leading manufacturing technologies that keep pace with this rapidly expanding field and enable it to reach its full potential. There is a critical unmet need for better manufacturing solutions, because cell and gene therapies are often patient-specific. For example, T-Cell therapies for cancer involve collecting white blood cells, genetically modifying them to attack cancer cells, and reinfusing them to the patient. Given the size of the patient population that could benefit from these potentially curative treatments, efficient and scalable manufacturing is essential.
The joint venture, which has yet to be named, is attending and presenting at Phacilitate, a global event focused on advanced cell and gene therapy research and commercialization, taking place January 21-24, 2020, in Miami. #PLW2020 #WSCS20
The joint venture is owned equally by the three partners – Bio-Techne, Fresenius Kabi and Wilson Wolf.
“Bio-Techne’s leading portfolio of reagents and technologies for cell and gene therapy workflow include non-viral methods for gene editing, assay platforms for in-process and finished product testing as well as the highest quality GMP reagents. We are currently expanding our reagent production capabilities with the construction of a state of the art, high-capacity GMP reagent production facility, which will further differentiate our collective offering,” said Chuck Kummeth, President and Chief Executive Officer, Bio-Techne. “This partnership creates the most cost-effective, scalable and reproducible solution, reducing bottlenecks in the current cell and gene therapy workflow and enabling broader adoption of these therapies. Each of the three companies brings a unique skillset and product portfolio to the venture as well as a commitment to best-in-class sales and customer support, creating significant and lasting value in an industry poised to disrupt cancer treatment and benefit patients worldwide.”
Based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Bio-Techne Corporation (NASDAQ: TECH) (www.bio-techne.com) is a leading developer and manufacturer of high-quality purified proteins and reagent solutions - notably cytokines and growth factors, antibodies, immunoassays, biologically active small molecule compounds, tissue culture reagents, and cell and gene therapy workflow solutions including T-Cell activation technologies. Bio-Techne products are integral components of scientific investigations into biological processes and molecular diagnostics, revealing the nature, diagnosis, etiology and progression of specific diseases. They aid in drug discovery efforts and provide the means for accurate clinical tests and diagnoses. With thousands of products in its portfolio, Bio-Techne generated approximately $714 million in net sales in fiscal 2019 and has over 2,200 employees worldwide.
“Fresenius Kabi brings special expertise in medicines as well as technologies to this venture, in addition to a global network of science and manufacturing,” said Dr. Christian Hauer, member of the Management Board of Fresenius Kabi and president of the company’s Transfusion Medicine and Cell Therapies Division. “Advances in science are now enabling us to harness the power of patients’ own cells to treat, and perhaps even cure, cancers. This venture brings together best-in-class companies and technologies to create a single source for best-in-class solutions for scientists and, ultimately, patients.”
Fresenius Kabi (www.fresenius-kabi.com/us) is a global health care company that specializes in medicines and technologies for infusion, transfusion and clinical nutrition. The company’s products and services are used to help care for critically and chronically ill patients. The company’s U.S. headquarters is in Lake Zurich, Illinois. The company’s global headquarters is in Bad Homburg, Germany. Fresenius Kabi is part of Fresenius SE (ETR: FRE), a global health care group with more than 290,000 employees in more than 100 countries, and annual sales exceeding $30 billion.
“Wilson Wolf’s G-Rex® technology for cell therapy is a practical, efficient, and scalable platform designed specifically to increase the quantity and quality of immune cells,” said John Wilson, CEO of Wilson Wolf. “G-Rex® is particularly well suited to interface with the products of Bio-Techne and Fresenius Kabi. The opportunity ahead of us is to deliver a disruptive manufacturing platform that cost-effectively accelerates the delivery of life saving therapies to a wide segment of society.”
Based in St. Paul, Minnesota, Wilson Wolf (www.wilsonwolf.com) was founded in 1998 to pioneer the development of innovative cell culture technologies and has created patented products and protocols for numerous applications including monoclonal antibody production, corneal transplants, porcine heart valve testing, mesenchymal cell production, and islet transplants for type 1 diabetes. Over the last 5 years, its G-Rex product line has experienced an average annual sales growth rate of nearly 100%.
MEDIA AND INVESTOR CONTACTS
David Clair, +1 612-656-4416
Matt Kuhn, +1 847-550-5751
John Wilson, +1 651-628-9259