Aeras and IDT Biologika Partner to Develop Vaccines

IDT Biologika acquired Aeras' vaccine manufacturing facility, and the companies will work together on tuberculosis vaccine development.
Jun 25, 2015
By BioPharm International Editors

Aeras, a nonprofit organization working to develop new tuberculosis (TB) vaccines, and CMO IDT Biologika formed a strategic partnership that includes IDT's acquisition of Aeras's Biopharmaceutical Development Center (BDC) manufacturing facility, the companies announced on June 23, 2015. The strategic partnership allows each organization to focus on its core strengths, with Aeras concentrating its resources on TB vaccine development and IDT working to grow this new commercial entity for vaccine development manufacturing.

"IDT's vaccine business is successful with strong global partnerships. We plan the expansion of capacity for new development projects and small-scale product batches through internal investment and by acquisitions," said Ralf Pfirmann, CEO of IDT Biologika in a press release.  "Therefore the partnership with Aeras is a logical step for IDT. Aeras contract manufacturing activities complement IDT's capabilities, they enable clinical phase 1 and 2 projects and provide early development capabilities to enhance IDT´s vaccine business pipeline. Overall, this new entity as part of IDT Biologika Corporation, our US entity, brings both development and manufacturing activities to our US market offering."

IDT and Aeras will jointly share occupancy of the current Aeras location in Rockville, Maryland. Within the partnership, Aeras will work closely with IDT on process development and manufacturing of candidate TB vaccines.

"This acquisition represents a unique opportunity to enable the expansion of the manufacturing facility, staff team, and expertise developed by Aeras and to allow the facility to further develop under a commercial structure," said Dr. Andreas Neubert, vice-president of IDT's vaccine business.  "IDT Biologika and Aeras believe that this facility within the IDT organization will continue to be an important and agile manufacturing asset supporting global health. Therefore, we intend to upgrade the manufacturing infrastructure soon."

Aeras and IDT will work closely together over the next few months to ensure a successful transition of ongoing projects. "Our TB vaccine development partners will also benefit from our relationship with IDT, which will provide enhanced efficiencies, new expertise, and new technologies, as IDT brings its own resources, customer base, and skills to the Biopharmaceutical Development Center," said Thomas G. Evans, MD, Aeras CEO, in the release.

The partnership provides a successful commercial operations team to secure the long-term future of Aeras's BDC, according to Jacqueline E. Shea, PhD, Aeras COO. "We are very excited to be partnering with IDT, a well-established contract manufacturing organization with a reputation for operational excellence. This transition enables continued stewardship of the facility for global health needs, maintains specialist skills and expertise developed over many years, and importantly retains access for Aeras to the manufacturing facility and expertise for the pipeline of TB vaccine candidates."

Source: IDT Biologika and Aeras

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