Avid Bioservices doubling capacity at its California facility

California-based Peregrine Pharmaceuticals says that contract manufacturing revenue was off in its last quarter but demand remains high for its Avid Bioservices unit, and so like a number of contract manufacturers that target biologics, it is adding capacity.

The company said it will add a new flexible modular clean room with single-use technologies inside the existing 40,000-square-foot warehouse which is next to its campus in Tustin, CA. It will incorporate multiple single-use bioreactors of up to 2,000 liters and will be capable of producing a variety of biological products. It will more than double its current capacity. The company declined to say how much the expansion will cost, when it will start or whether any jobs would be created from it.

Steven King

"This new production suite will be a key component of our strategic growth as it allows us to meet the increasing demand for our clinical and commercial manufacturing," Steven King, Avid president, said in an announcement.

Peregrine, which is developing new cancer treatments, explained that the expansion will also help it with the anticipated launch of its lead product, bavituximab, a second-line non-small cell lung cancer treatment currently in Phase III development.

Last week, Peregrine reported a $13.1 million loss for its second quarter, compared with a $7.8 million loss in the same quarter a year ago. It had revenue of $6.3 million, essentially all of it contributed by Avid. Revenue at Avid was down from $7.4 million in Q2 last year.

With biologics making up a growing piece of drug company portfolios, many Big Pharma operations, and the contractors who support them, have been expanding in a variety of areas tied to biologics. French contract manufacturer Novasep, for one, invested €4 million ($5.5 million) at its plant in Le Mans, France, to add to its potent and extremely potent antibody-drug conjugate operations there. In June, mAbxience, a unit of Spain's Chemo Group, said it was buying Genhelix, a contract development and manufacturing organization in Leon, Spain, that is dedicated to making monoclonal antibodies and other recombinant proteins used in biologics.

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