Lonza Acquires Roche’s US Commercial Biologics Manufacturing Site for $1.2 Billion

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With the Vacaville, Calif., site acquisition, Lonza gains one of the largest biologics manufacturing sites for mammalian cell-based therapeutics.

Lonza announced on March 20, 2024 that is has signed an agreement to acquire from Roche its Vacaville, Calif., site, a large-scale biologics manufacturing site, for $1.2 billion. Beyond the acquisition, Lonza plans to invest approximately CHF 500 million (US$557 million) to upgrade the facility and enhance capabilities for serving the next generation of mammalian biologics.

The deal is expected to close in the second half of 2024, subject to customary closing conditions. The Vacaville site will be integrated into Lonza’s Biologics division upon closing and will be included in Lonza’s network of existing mammalian manufacturing sites in Visp, Switzerland; Slough, United Kingdom; Tuas, Singapore; Portsmouth, NH; and Porriño, Spain (1).

“The Vacaville site is a highly valuable strategic acquisition that will make capacity immediately available for our customers and unlock future growth for our Biologics division. It will support us in providing a commercialization path to existing customers and incremental large-scale commercial capacity to our partners,” said Jean-Christophe Hyvert, president, Biologics, Lonza, in a company press release.

Lonza will supply the products currently manufactured by Roche at the Vacaville site in the medium term as it phases out those products over time to serve alternative customers. With a total bioreactor capacity of approximately 330,000 L, Lonza expects the Vacaville acquisition to significantly increase its large-scale biologics manufacturing capacity, allowing it to meet demand for commercial mammalian contract manufacturing from customers with existing commercial products. The facility will also serve molecules within Lonza’s network that are currently on the path to commercialization.

The facility’s capacity makes it one of the largest biologics manufacturing sites in the world by volume, according to the Lonza company press release. Because demand for commercial-scale capacity for biologics is expected to remain high across the contract development and manufacturing organization industry as the result of anticipated approvals for innovative new therapies, the acquisition puts Lonza in a position to offer immediate access to significant new capacity in the United States. The move also creates a significant West Coast commercial manufacturing presence, which complements Lonza’s existing biologics site on the East Coast (Portsmouth, NH). The US sites also complement Lonza’s manufacturing network across Europe and Asia.

“Demand for biologics manufacturing capacity by volume is projected to reach nearly 4400 kL, a five-year growth rate of nearly 11.5% per year (just over 2500 kL in 2022). Global biologics manufacturing capacity will increase to nearly 8400 kL by 2027 from nearly 6500 kL in 2023,” according to the 2023 CPHI annual report (2).


“We have deep and long-standing industrial expertise in delivering commercial-scale manufacturing services for our customers’ therapies. In combining this with the strong legacy of the Vacaville facility, its highly skilled colleague community, and its proven track record on quality, we are excited to take our leading large-scale mammalian offering to its next chapter of growth,” Hyvert said in the press release.

Under the transaction, Lonza will offer positions to the approximately 750 Genentech employees working at the Vacaville facility.


1. Lonza. Mammalian Biopharmaceutical Services. lonza.com/biologics/mammalian (accessed March 25, 2024).
2. Ecker, D. M.; Seymour, P. Supply and Demand Trends: 2022-2027 Mammalian Biomanufacturing Industry Overview. In CPHI Annual Report and Survey; CPHI Barcelona, 2023.

Source: Lonza