Lonza Advances Manufacturing Strategy

Dec 15, 2006
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Basel, Switzerland (Dec. 5)—Lonza Group Ltd. (www.lonza.com) and Singapore’s Bio*One Capital (www.bio1capital.com) have formed a joint venture, Lonza Biologics Tuas, to build a large-scale mammalian cell-culture facility in Singapore for as much as $350 million. Bio*One Capital is the investment arm of the Singapore Economic Development Board (www.edb.gov.sg).

The new facility under Lonza Biologics Tuas will have up to four mammalian bioreactor trains, each with a flexible capacity of 1,000–20,000 liters and inclusive of purification units. The plant will be constructed over two phases. Construction of the shell will begin in February 2007. Final build-out of the facility is scheduled for completion and operation no later than 2011. Lonza Biologics Tuas expects to hire 350 people to staff the operation. 

The facility will be Lonza’s second large-scale mammalian manufacturing plant in Singapore, and its third one overall. Lonza and Bio*One Capital entered into an initial joint venture, Lonza Biologics Singapore Pte Ltd, in February 2006 to build an 80,000-liter large-scale mammalian biopharmaceutical production facility. Lonza took 100% ownership of this facility upon the signing of the Lonza Biologics Tuas joint venture. Genentech, Inc. (South San Francisco, CA, www.gene.com) has the exclusive option to acquire the Lonza-owned facility between 2007 and 2012.

Lonza announced last month its plan to give Genentech the option to purchase the Singapore facility, see ePT story, “Genentech and Lonza Sign Pact for Manufacturing Facilities and Supply.” As part of the plan, Lonza also agreed to buy Genentech’s mid-scale mammalian biopharmaceutical production plant in Porriņo, Spain for $150 million. This week, Lonza and Genentech closed that deal. The new facility, which has 40,000 liters of biologics manufacturing capacity, is named Lonza Biologics Porriņo S.L. Lonza will retain the facility’s 310 employees.

Lonza inks API pact with Solvay

In other news, Lonza formed a long-term strategic manufacturing alliance with Solvay Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Marietta, GA, www.solvaypharmaceuticals-us.com) under which Lonza will produce a selection of Solvay’s large-volume active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs). The agreement builds on an existing API commercial partnership between the companies.