Lonza, Chr. Hansen Form New Bio JV BacThera With $99-Million Investment

Lonza and Chr. Hansen Holding, a bioscience company, have received approval from antitrust regulators needed to establish a 50/50 joint venture in the live biotherapeutic product market. The companies, which announced the JV earlier this year (April 2019), will invest EUR 90 million ($99 million) in the JV, which will serve as a contract development and manufacturing organization to provide a full supply chain offering manufacturing of bacteria strains for therapeutic use.

The JV will operate under the name BacThera and will be headquartered in Basel, Switzerland with production facilities in Denmark and Switzerland. The companies say that over the coming months, BacThera will upgrade existing facilities in Hørsholm, Denmark and equip new facilities in Basel, Switzerland for preclinical to Phase II projects. The companies say further facilities for Phase III and commercial manufacturing will be developed as the pipeline matures.

In the JV, Chr. Hansen will provide know-how in developing, upscaling and manufacturing bacteria strains, and Lonza brings capabilities in pharma contract manufacturing and formulation and drug delivery technologies. Furthermore, the JV will provide competencies in handling, characterizing, formulating, manufacturing and encapsulating anaerobe bacteria.

With the regulatory approvals, BacThera is now able to start operations. Overall, EUR 90 million ($99 million) will be invested by the companies, shared equally between Chr. Hansen and Lonza, over a period of three years. After that, BacThera is expected to be largely self-funding.

Source: Chr. Hansen Holding and Lonza

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