Advancing the development of biologics provides stronger clinical options

By Andre Rickard, The Science Advisory Board contributing writer

March 28, 2022 -- A therapeutic area that is gaining traction is the field of biologics. Such therapies are highly useful in treating diseases because they can mimic and complement naturally occurring physiological processes in the human body that may be key to treating the dysfunction. As a result, biologics are frequently used to treat immune-mediated and inflammatory disease states.

Abzena, Recipharm, and the World Health Organization (WHO) have made strides to expand knowledge and development into this area due to the high therapeutic potential of these advanced therapies, according to Cell and Gene Therapy Business Outlook, a sister publication of ScienceBoard.

Abzena, Alira Health, Oncodesign

Abzena is a life sciences group and partner research organization that provides services for the discovery, development, and manufacturing of biologics. The company specifically offers services related to antibody drug conjugates in addition to immunogenicity assessment and candidate screening. As part of the company's commitment to advancing the development of biologics, Abzena has partnered with Alira Health and Oncodesign to launch the Drive-Biologics consortium. The consortium is designed to support its partners in accessing Abzena's strength in biologics drug discovery and clinical development. Oncodesign will provide its expertise in oncology and inflammatory diseases, while Alira Health will provide technology powered consulting services and real-world evidence to enhance clinical development solutions. Financial details of this partnership were not disclosed.


Recipharm is a contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) that supports pharmaceutical companies from the early development stages to commercial production of various therapies. Recipharm's services include bespoke manufacturing and development of drugs in diverse dosages forms, in addition to development of inhalation products and devices. To extend Recipharm's therapeutic manufacturing capabilities, the company has acquired Portuguese CDMO GenIbet. GenIbet specializes in the manufacturing of biological clinical trial materials. This expansion will allow Recipharm to expand its repertoire to include the manufacturing of biologics, as well as viral vectors, RNA, and microbiomes. This will further propel development into this growing scientific area. The financial details of this collaboration were not disclosed.

WHO-Republic of Korea

The WHO is an international health agency of the United Nations that leads the world in public health endeavors. The WHO provides many programs to educate and inform the public about a multitude of diseases and their treatments. The WHO also serves as a valuable resource for healthcare professionals and institutions wishing to stay up to date on the most current treatments available.

As part of the WHO's mission to improve public health globally, the agency has partnered with the Republic of Korea to establish a global biomanufacturing training hub that will serve low- and middle-income countries wishing to produce biologics. Specifically, this training will be conducted through the WHO Academy and will provide accessible training to various countries on the production of vaccines, insulin, monoclonal antibodies, and cancer treatments. The training will be conducted in a large facility located outside Seoul that will expand its current biomanufacturing training to companies based outside of the Republic of Korea.

Given the significant therapeutic potential of biologics for patients with many different disease states, it is important for healthcare institutions to work to expand the development of these products. Abzena, Recipharm, and the WHO are aiding in this development through the use of multicompany consortiums, mergers and acquisitions, and global training programs. These creative approaches to improving biologics development will help facilitate the use of these drugs in clinical settings and provide patients with novel solutions to previously untreatable problems.

To stay up to date on the latest business happenings in the cell and gene therapy industry, check out Cell & Gene Therapy Business Outlook today!

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