DCAT Week ’18: Lonza Updates Integration of $5.5-Billion Acquisition of Capsugel

 Joe Colleluori

Joseph Colleluori
Senior Vice President, Commercial Development
Lonza Pharma & Biotech

Joseph Colleluori, Senior Vice President, Commercial Development, Lonza Pharma & Biotech and DCAT Past President, provided an update of the company’s integration of its $5.5-billion acquisition of Capsugel at the DCAT Week ’18 Member Company Announcement Forum, which was held Monday, March 19, 2018 in New York.

Lonza, a contract manufacturer of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) (small molecules and biologics), made a large play with its $5.5-billion acquisition of Capsugel, a provider of dosage forms, in a deal completed in July 2017. With the acquisition of Capsugel, Lonza positions itself in the drug-product services sector by gaining formulation and oral dosage delivery technologies, including a position in hard-capsule technologies.

The Capsugel acquisition was the largest in the company’s history. The deal closed on July 5, 2017 with pre-acquisition integration on back office and support, and full integration then beginning on day one of closing. Business and functional integration was completed on January 1, 2018 with Capsugel being fully integrated into the Lonza segments. Commercial integration is progressing with first joint-product offerings in consumer health and nutrition and positive customer response to the combined Lonza–Capsugel value proposition, noted Colleluori.

In addition to Capsugel, Lonza acquired Micro-Macinazione, a Monteggio, Switzerland-based provider of micronization services, in August 2017. The acquisition of Micro-Macinazione builds on Lonza’s/Capsugel’s existing micronization capabilities for clinical and commercial manufacturing that are based in Quakertown, Pennsylvania. Via the Capsugel and the Micro-Macinazione acquisitions, Lonza added 15 sites and more than 3,600 employees.

Colleluori pointed out that the addition of Capsugel and Micro-Macinazione provides the company an integrated offering in small-molecule technologies by adding capabilities in dosage form and drug- delivery systems to complement Lonza’s existing custom API development and manufacturing services. The integrated offering provides drug-substance intermediates, drug substances, drug-product intermediates, and finished drug products at the phase-appropriate scale required, including for high-potency API and drug-product development and manufacturing.  

On the drug product side, Colleluori explained that the company now has capabilities in bioavailability enhancement and various drug-delivery technologies. These include: capabilities in addressing poor solubility or low/inconsistent dissolution rates; micronization capability with plants in the US and Europe; a position in solid dispersions, both in spray drying and hot-melt extrusion, with approved commercial products and numerous clinical programs; and lipid-based chemistry for semi-solid and liquid-based formulations with liquid-filled hard capsule and soft gel facilities. He added that the company’s capabilities in addressing solubility issues are complemented with the ability to modulate pharmacokinetics with technologies to meet various drug-delivery profiles (extended release, zero-order release, and colonic delivery). The company’s HPAPI production capability is complemented with particle engineering (micronization or spray drying) in contained environments as well as specialized dosage forms (liquid-filled hard capsules and soft gels) designed for low-dose/highly-potent APIs to provide a value chain from the HPAPI through any required particle enhancement to the finished form where solid oral dosing is feasible.

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