- Abzena plc, a U.K.-based contract research and development organization (CDMO), has teamed up with one of its longer-term clients in a new deal focused on progressing a preclinical drug into human trials.
- Through a newly inked Master Services Agreement (MSA), Abzena plans on providing more than $5 million worth of process development and good manufacturing practice (GMP) services. Abzena didn't disclose the client's name, but did characterize it as a U.S. biotech that has worked with the company for "number of years."
- Abzena offers biology, chemistry and manufacturing services — ranging from peptide synthesis to cytokine screenings to antibody production. It has also entered into several deals over the last year, centered around its ThioBridge antibody drug conjugate (ADC) linker technology and Composite Human Antibody technology.
Drugmakers outside the U.S. frequently look for opportunities to break into its pharmaceutical market, which stands as the world's largest.
To that end, Abzena has been moving quickly to establish and grow its footprint in the states. In November 2015, it bought the San Diego-based CDMO PacificGMP for $8.4 million. The acquisition helped build out Abzena's late-stage manufacturing capabilities, as well as gave the company's its first base in the U.S.
Shortly after PacificGMP, Abzena snatched up The Chemistry Research Solution LLC, a Bristol, Pennsylvania-based company that provides specialist contract chemistry and bioconjugation services.
"Since the expansion of Abzena’s service offering into the US with two acquisitions in 2015, we have seen a number of customer relationships expand," company CEO John Burt said in a Dec. 11 statement. "They are using more of our services across [Abzena's] biology, chemistry and manufacturing capabilities."
Burt's statement would likely resonate with many contract research or contract manufacturing organizations — as pharma's increasing demand for drugmaking services has spurred consolidations across the space.
For Abzena, though, the freshly inked MSA is yet another testament to its U.S. interests.
"This latest deal further consolidates our existing relationship with our customer," he added. "Drawing on Abzena’s integrated service offering, this ADC can progress through the preclinical and clinical trial process, with the ultimate goal of developing a new potential cancer treatment."