Thermo Fischer Snags Novasep’s Low-Cost CMO for $879 Million
On January 15th, Thermo Fisher Scientific announced the acquisition of Henogen, Novasep’s viral-vector manufacturing division in Belgium, for about $879 million in cash. It will be part of Thermo Fisher’s pharma services business within the laboratory products and services segment.
Viral-vectors such as adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors are used in gene and cell therapies to deliver RNA and DNA into cells. Biopharma giant AstraZeneca has been using an adenovirus vector for its COVID-19 vaccine candidate, and Novasep, last November, had signed a multi-year deal with the company to support its large-scale manufacturing of the adenovirus vector.
Henogen – Low-Cost CMO
Henogen, Novasep’s production facility across two locations in Belgium, is a global provider of low-cost manufacturing services for a range of products and processes, including active molecules, vaccines, and therapies to biotech and pharma companies. The company has more than 75,000 square feet of clinical and commercial production space with about 400 employees. The business’s estimated 2020 revenue was approximately $97 million.
“Novasep’s viral vector business is an excellent strategic fit as Thermo Fisher continues to expand its capabilities for cell and gene vaccines and therapies globally,” said Michel Lagarde, Executive Vice President of Thermo Fisher.
“The addition of their manufacturing capabilities in Europe complements our four development and manufacturing sites in North America,” Lagarde said. “In addition, they bring an incredibly talented team with more than two decades of experience across a broad range of viral vectors. The combination will benefit our global customers seeking support and capacity in the region as well as European customers bringing new medicines to patients inside and outside of Europe.”
Michel Spagnol, President and Chief Executive Officer, Novasep, said, “Thermo Fisher is an outstanding partner for our viral vector business and its future development. Our diverse customer base will benefit from the combination of our viral vector services capabilities with the scale and capabilities of Thermo Fisher. Our talented employees will bring deep expertise to an organization that shares our commitment to providing ground-breaking new medicines to patients.”
The acquisition of Henogen marks Thermo Fisher’s second big purchase of a viral-vector business after it acquired Brammer Bio in 2019 for $1.7 B. Riding high on the success of its COVID-19 test kit over the last year, Thermo Fisher has made great strides in expanding its manufacturing capabilities to 20 million per week to accommodate the rising need.
By Sangeeta Chakraborty, Ph.D.
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