Abzena, Argonaut Form Drug Development Alliance


The partnership will offer an end-to-end manufacturing solution for biopharma companies.

Image Credit: Adobe Stock Images/MPStudio.com

Image Credit: Adobe Stock Images/MPStudio.com

Abzena, a contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) for complex biologics and bioconjugates, and Argonaut Manufacturing Services, Inc., a current good manufacturing practice (cGMP) CDMO that operates in the diagnostics and biopharmaceutical and diagnostics sectors, have decided to partner up to design a fully integrated drug substance and drug product manufacturing solution for biopharmaceutical organizations.1

According to the involved parties, this agreement provides a modernized way for customers to progress their therapies into the clinic, and/or onward into later-stage commercial manufacturing.

By using one development and manufacturing team to handle the shift from early discovery services (including antibody engineering, developability, cell line development, formulation development, process and analytical development) all the way through clinical and commercial manufacturing of drug product and drug substance, the alliance is able to eliminate any holes in the drug development process.

This results in greater efficiencies along with the ability to make quicker decisions, limit supply chain complications, and allow for the facilitated transfer of technology.

"Abzena's mission is to rapidly move medicines forward to patients in need. Embarking on this strategic partnership with Argonaut further demonstrates our commitment to this mission, marking a significant milestone in our quest to provide streamlined solutions that address the unique needs of our customers,” commented Matt Stober, CEO of Abzena. “This collaboration signifies a pivotal advancement in biopharmaceutical development and reinforces the shared vision of both our organizations to drive innovation, quality, and speed to market for our customer's life-changing treatments.”

Both companies have CDMO experience that includes developing and manufacturing biopharma programs throughout the entire process, so by being able to combine Abzena's antibody discovery, development, and cGMP manufacturing services with Argonaut's sterile fill-finish capabilities, the finished product features what they describe as “a full-spectrum service model” designed to optimize efficiency and accelerate development timelines.

"For the past few years, Argonaut and Abzena have been successfully building and strengthening their partnership,” said Wayne Woodard, CEO, Argonaut. “Today, we further enhance this collaboration by publicly recognizing the value that our two companies can generate for our clients. Ecosystems are an integral part of our business, and these partnerships are crucial in providing comprehensive support to all our clients, regardless of their size, to ensure efficient and successful delivery of their drugs to patients."

In other Abzena news, early last year, the CDMO had agreed on a deal with Pfizer to release control of its manufacturing site, based in Sanford, NC.2 Pfizer had reported that once fully constructed, the facility will be capable of producing biologics drug substance, along with providing additional manufacturing capacity. As per the arrangement, Abzena and Pfizer’s CentreOne contract manufacturing organization will work together to bring complex biologic products to market. The site is expected to employ an estimated 300 personnel by 2025, including the current staff of 100, bringing its total North Carolina workforce to approximately 4,500 employees.

“Biologics continue to be an integral part of Pfizer’s pipeline, and this acquisition will expand our research, clinical, and commercial manufacturing capacity,” noted Mike McDermott, Pfizer’s EVP and chief global supply officer. “ … Furthermore, this site is located near our existing Rocky Mount and Sanford manufacturing sites, enabling access to turn-key services spanning large molecule drug substance through fill-finish.”


1. Abzena and Argonaut Partner to Offer Accelerated End-to-End Drug Development Support for Biopharmaceutical Companies. Abzena. June 20, 2024. Accessed June 21, 2024. https://abzena.com/articles/abzena-argonaut-partnership/

2. Pfizer Purchases Production Site from Abzena. Pharmaceutical Commerce. January 20, 2023. Accessed June 21, 2024. https://www.pharmaceuticalcommerce.com/view/pfizer-purchases-production-site-from-abzena

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