LONZA CONSOLIDATING ACQUISITION
In a move impacting another biomanufacturing acquisition completed in 2007, Lonza (Basel, Switzerland) announced it will close
its Baltimore, MD, development and manufacturing facility as part of a plan to consolidate its US microbial fermentation operations
in Hopkinton, MA. Lonza acquired the Hopkinton and Baltimore facilities earlier this year when it acquired the biologics-based
businesses of Cambrex, Inc. (East Rutherford, NJ). Lonza officials said the move will be completed in early 2008, and that
much of the equipment from Baltimore will be relocated to the Hopkinton facility. Industry experts have said that the Baltimore
facility was poorly designed for contract manufacturing and has never been profitable.
Lonza intends to make Hopkinton its center for microbial fermentation in North America, complementing its European center
for microbial fermentation in Visp, Switzerland, where it is installing two 15,000 L fermenters. Much of that capacity has
been booked by UCB Pharma to manufacture Cimzia, its new treatment for autoimmune diseases. Hopkinton will eventually have
its own commercial-scale capacity, and will invest $30 million. Currently, Hopkinton has capacity up to 2800 L scale, and
Baltimore has a 2000 L fermenter. An additional 250 jobs will be created at Hopkinton as a result of the expansion.
Hopkinton is within a two-hour drive of Lonza's huge cell culture manufacturing operation in Portsmouth, NH, but the facilities
will run independently. The company recently began construction of a new 330,000-sq.-ft. facility in Portsmouth to further
expand its cell culture capabilities there. Lonza has 93,000 L of operating capacity in Portsmouth, and is installing another
5000 L bioreactor there.
Jim Miller is president of PharmSource Information Services, Springfield, VA, 703.383.4903., email@example.com