News from DCAT Week 2022: Lonza Highlights Major Biomanufacturing Expansions

Lonza is proceeding with major expansions in its global biomanufacturing manufacturing network as wel as with targeted investment in parenteral drug-product manufacturing. Jean-Christophe Hyvert, President of Lonza’s Biologics and Cell & Gene Divisions, provided an update at the DCAT Member Company Announcement Forum on March 21, 2022 at DCAT Week 2022.

Jean-Christophe Hyvert
President, Biologics and Cell & Gene Divisions

In 2021, Lonza divested its Specialty Ingredients business and announced investments of CHF 1.3 billion ($1.4 billion) for expansion projects in its global development and manufacturing network in the US, Europe, and Asia. The company says it plans to commit approximately 30% of its sales revenue to expansion projects in 2022.

Among the largest projects, Lonza is investing approximately CHF 850 million ($919 million) to add two mammalian drug-substance manufacturing facilities at its sites in Visp, Switzerland, and Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The expansion in Visp will add a new large-scale mammalian drug-substance manufacturing facility with up six 20,000-liter bioreactors. The facility is expected to be completed in 2024 with an investment of approximately CHF 650 million ($703 million).

In Portsmouth, New Hampshire, the company is investing CHF 200-million ($216-million) in a biomanufacturing facility for small-to-mid-volume production to support late-phase clinical trials and launch products. The facility is expected to be completed in 2023. The company also doubled the size of its development facilities in Singapore, with the addition of a new 1,800-square-meter laboratory facility.

Lonza is continuing to support its collaboration with Moderna for mRNA vaccine manufacture with a new mRNA line in Geleen, the Netherlands, as well as three new mRNA lines in Visp, making a total of eight mRNA commercial-scale lines the company has across Europe.

Lonza also made two acquisitions in 2021 in the exosomes field. It acquired a manufacturing facility in Lexington, Massachusetts, from Codiak Biosciences, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing exosome-based therapeutics. The companies will also establish a Center of Excellence for the development of exosome manufacturing technologies. Lonza also acquired a service unit in Siena, Italy, from Exosomics, an extracellular vesicles biotech company.

 In addition, Lonza also invested in expansion of its microbial development footprint in Switzerland and added new suites for viral vector, cell and gene therapies, and bioconjugation. 

To increase fill–finish capacity, the company is adding a new flexible aseptic filling line at its facility in Stein, Switzerland, targeted for completion in 2023, and a parenteral fill–finish line for liquid and lyophilized products at its site in Guangzhou, China, operational in 2022. Both facilities can support manufacture of clinical trial and commercial batches. The company is also expanding its development labs in Basel, Switzerland, with the expansion slated to be operational in 2024.