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