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December 21, 2018

Novartis makes offer to acquire French CDMO CellforCure

Novartis has made an offer to acquire CellforCure, a France-based contract development and manufacturing organisation (CDMO) producing cell and gene therapies in Europe, from LFB for an undisclosed amount.

Novartis has made an offer to acquire CellforCure, a France-based contract development and manufacturing organisation (CDMO) producing cell and gene therapies in Europe, from LFB for an undisclosed amount.

As per the proposed agreement, Novartis will buy the share capital of CellforCure including the cell and gene manufacturing facility in Les Ulis and the associated adjacent land.

Once this offer is accepted, CellforCure will become a completely owned manufacturing site of Novartis.

It will become part of the network of cell and gene therapy site, which includes Morris Plains of New Jersey, US, and Stein in Switzerland.

In July this year, Novartis signed an agreement with CellforCure to manufacture CAR-T cell therapies including Kymriah (tisagenlecleucel), which is the first CAR-T cell therapy approved by the US Food and Drug Administration, and is indicated for two separate, difficult-to-treat cancers in the US, European Union, Switzerland, Canada and Australia.

Novartis and CellforCure have completed a technology transfer, with Kymriah clinical supply production slated to commence by mid of next year.

With the acquisition of CellforCure, Novartis plans to strengthen its footprint in cell and gene therapies, as well as in France.

This is in line with other recent steps taken by Novartis to bolster and expand its cell and gene manufacturing. It signed a strategic licensing, collaboration and share purchase agreement with Cellular Biomedicine Group (CBMG) for the manufacture and supply of Kymriah in China. It also expanded its alliance with the Fraunhofer Institute in Germany to support manufacturing for clinical trials and post approval manufacturing.

“The proposed acquisition of CellforCure is another strategic step in our pursuit of additional manufacturing capacity to make our transformational CAR-T cell therapy Kymriah available to more patients around the world.”

Novartis technical operations global head Steffen Lang said: “The proposed acquisition of CellforCure is another strategic step in our pursuit of additional manufacturing capacity to make our transformational CAR-T cell therapy Kymriah available to more patients in need around the world. If completed, this acquisition also would potentially increase manufacturing capacity for other cell and gene therapies in the Novartis pipeline.

“We are excited about the possibility of adding the significant experience of CellforCure to our existing leadership in pioneering research, development and supply of cell and gene therapies.”

This deal is subject to customary closing conditions, including employee consultation process and regulatory approvals.

Subject to approval, the deal is expected to be funded through available cash and complete in the first half of 2019.

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