From DCAT Week: Lonza Outlines Expansions in Drug Products, ADCs, mRNA. Products, Lipid Nanoparticles 

Jean-Christophe Hyvert, President, Biologics
Division and member of Executive Committee

Lonza has announced a series of investment to increase development and manufacturing capacity for drug products, antibody-drug conjugates, mRNA products and lipid nanoparticles as well as increasing early-stage capabilities. Jean-Christophe Hyvert, President of Lonza’s Biologics Division, outlined the company’s expansion plans at the DCAT Member Company Announcement Forum, held March 20, 2023, at DCAT Week. The expansions are detailed below.  

Early-stage development services. Lonza is expanding its early-development services, with a 1,500- square meter hub in Boston, Massachusetts, to complement its existing European facility in Cambridge, UK. The new hub will provide preclinical support to early-stage drug-developers, enabling them to assess, de-risk, and optimize their candidate molecules. The new hub which will be operational in May 2023, and will support the drug substance lifecycle in the US.  

Expanding drug-product capacity and capabilities. Lonza is investing CHF 500 million ($547 million) in a large-scale, commercial drug-product fill–finish facility in Stein, Switzerland.  The new facility follows the company’s previous investment in formulation and clinical drug-product manufacturing and will be completed in 2026. The facility will be able to fill–finish a range of products, including antibodies, other proteins and polysaccharides, mRNA products, and viral vectors.  

ADC expansion.  Lonza is also investing to expand its bioconjugates services at its site in Visp, Switzerland, with two new bioconjugation suites becoming operational in 2023. Additionally, expanded facilities for highly potent active pharmaceutical ingredients (HPAPIs) for cytotoxic payloads will support the company’s antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) pipeline. In combination with antibody manufacturing, the Swiss site provides scale-up and launch of ADCs and optimizes the complex supply chain for ADCs, an important area for cancer treatments 

Expanding mRNA manufacturing: To strengthen mRNA production capabilities, in 2022, Lonza entered a collaboration with Touchlight, a UK-based biotech company with proprietary enzymatic DNA production technology. This provides Lonza with a new option for mRNA production beyond using plasmid DNA, to enable increased speed, scale, and purity for manufacturing mRNA products.   

To support existing commercial mRNA manufacturing capabilities, Lonza is adding mRNA/lipid nanoparticle development and manufacturing services to its facility in Geleen, the Netherlands. The 2,700-square-meters hub, which will be operational later in 2023, will initially support manufacturing of non-GMP products and will be cGMP ready by 2024 to support the growing pipeline of mRNA vaccines and therapies.  

Hyvert concluded his presentation by confirming that Lonza will continue to commit approximately 30% of its 2023 revenue for further investment.