Lonza to Expand Sites with Next-Generation Mammalian Manufacturing Facilities

Lonza plans to invest approximately CHF 850 million (US$936 million) to build new state-of-the-art mammalian manufacturing facilities at its Visp, Switzerland, and Portsmouth, NH, sites.

On May 6, 2021, Lonza announced that it will be making significant investments to expand its mammalian drug substance manufacturing facilities in Visp, Switzerland, and Portsmouth, NH, in the United States. The company plans to spend CHF 850 million (US$936 million) in the expansions.

In Visp, the company plans to build a new large-scale mammalian drug substance manufacturing facility that will add six 20,000-L bioreactors to meet increasing market demand for biologics. This new high-throughput facility will have an area of approximately 27,500 m2 and will include perfusion capabilities while optimizing energy efficiency and water use. It will be designed to support high titer processes and will have the capability to accommodate the next generation of mammalian biologics, Lonza stated in a company press release.

The new Visp facility is expected to be completed in 2024 and will account for approximately CHF 650 million (US$715 million) of the total investment. The Visp expansion will complement the company’s existing large-scale global network at Portsmouth as well as its sites in Tuas, Singapore, and Porriño, Spain.

In Portsmouth, the company plans to build a next-generation facility to support late-phase clinical and commercial development and manufacturing. This facility will add capacity for up to eight 2000-L single-use bioreactors over an area of 3000 m2. The Portsmouth expansion will account for the remaining CHF 200 million (US$220 million) of the total investment. This expansion will help meet increasing market demand for small- to mid-scale mammalian-derived biologics and will support the implementation of high titer and high throughput platform processes, the company also stated in its press release. The new Portsmouth facility, expected to be completed in 2023, will be designed to support Phase III clinical and commercial small- to mid-volume products and will include state-of-the-art technologies in perfusion, purification, and automation. The facility will complement the existing single-use network at Lonza’s sites in Tuas and Visp as well as in Hayward, CA, and Slough, UK.

Lonza has already begun recruitment for both new facilities, which will create more than 300 new jobs in Visp and 250 new positions in Portsmouth.

“As we look at the biologics market, we see a combination of growth at pace coupled with continuing high customer demand. In recent months, the COVID-19 pandemic has placed the spotlight on supply chains and the critical role CDMOs [contract development and manufacturing organizations] play in ensuring an adequate supply of medicines. The expansion of both our large-scale and small-scale manufacturing capacity will ensure Lonza continues to deliver industry-leading contract manufacturing services that will support our customers’ needs in the medium and long term,” said Pierre-Alain Ruffieux, CEO of Lonza, in the company press release.

“At Lonza, we are focused on supporting our customers to achieve efficient, high-throughput production processes and flexible manufacturing solutions. Our customers’ needs range from the manufacture of small- to mid-volume products, such as innovative pharmaceuticals for rare diseases affecting smaller patient populations, to the large-scale commercial production of biologics. These expansions serve to strengthen our position as a critical partner in the development and manufacture of such medicines,” added Jean-Christophe Hyvert, president, Biologics and Cell & Gene, Lonza, in the press release.

Source: Lonza