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Lonza expands for two contracts

Lonza has extended two ongoing collaborations with unnamed major biopharmaceutical companies. One covers the commercial-scale filling of antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs), the other bioconjugation. Financial details were not disclosed in either case.

As part of the former partnership, Lonza will build a dedicated line at its site in Stein, Switzerland, for the aseptic filling of highly potent ADCs and lyophilisation under containment. The new line is expected to be operational in 2027 and to create about 115 new jobs at peak capacity.

The latter will see bioconjugation capacity increased fourfold by adding two suites for the commercial supply of ADCs over 1,500 m2 of space at the Ibex Dedicate Biopark at the main site in Visp. This will support the highly automated, high-throughput containment of highly potent drug linkers and bioconjugate. Due to open in 2026, the new suites will create about 180 jobs.

This is all part of Lonza’s growth in drug product services, which saw the groundbreaking of its first large-scale, commercial drug product manufacturing facility at Stein in January. The investment of about $550 million will enable it to provide an end-to-end offering across the entire drug product lifecycle, including commercial supply.

At Ibex Biopark, meanwhile, the company completed a 1,200 m2, cGMP clinical and commercial drug product manufacturing line in March and shipped the first batches in April. This includes a liquid and lyophilised vial filling isolator line for multiple modalities that fulfils the GMP Annex 1 requirement for the manufacture of sterile products.

The world bioconjugates market is currently worth about $33 billion/year, with ADCs accounting for $10 billion of it. ADC demand has been forecast to grow at 20%/year between 2023 and 2028. Lonza has produced over 1,000 cGMP batches for more than 70 programmes since 2006.

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