By Sudeep Basu, Practice Leader, Innovation Services, Frost & Sullivan
A decade ago diligent efforts in the field of gene therapy were restricted to a handful of pioneering labs that had to battle naysayers. Today, key biopharma players are involved in multibillion-dollar mergers and acquisitions (M&A) deals and other partnerships in the gene therapy space. The early half of 2019 through mid-2019 witnessed many acquisitions for vector manufacturing capacity, to address the lack of capacity that is one of the largest bottlenecks in the field. Vendor-pharma partnerships will help address the manufacturing gap. For instance, the strategic partnership between Prevail Therapeutics and Lonza will help scale up Prevail’s pipeline of AAV-based gene therapies.
The entire sector is undergoing rapid evolution, and novel methods, platforms, and solutions have emerged in the last three years. Given the various challenges faced by the cell and gene therapy manufacturing industry due to capacity shortage, high investment costs, and other factors, some innovative solutions have evolved, such as single-use systems and modular biomanufacturing facilities. These innovations have been directly associated with capital expenditure (Capex) benefits and other advantages.
There has been much progress in moving potentially life-saving gene therapies to the market, but they are extremely costly to produce. To address the need to reduce COGs, we invited a panel of industry experts to join our discussion.