Last week, Lonza (Basel) agreed to support the ongoing development of GlaxoSmithKline’s (GSK, London) biopharmaceutical pipeline by supplying manufacturing capacity for five early-stage monoclonal antibodies. Under the terms of the agreement, Lonza initially will manufacture clinical-trial batches of five compounds in Phase I and II studies for GSK. In addition, Lonza will make flexible capacity available to GSK to allow the latter company to respond to future demand, which will depend on the molecules’ progression through late-stage development and commercial launch.
To continue to expand its biopharmaceuticals portfolio, GSK is pursuing plans to increase its own biopharmaceutical manufacturing capabilities. Under the agreement, GSK and Lonza will jointly assess GSK’s options for the design, specification, location, and construction of a bespoke biopharmaceutical manufacturing facility in the United Kingdom.
“We believe this is a critical step in the ongoing and future success of GSK in biopharmaceuticals,” said Ian Tomlinson, head of GSK’s biopharmaceutical research and development, in a press release. “Our goal is to establish a portfolio of biopharmaceutical products that by 2015 consistently exceeds 20% of our research and development pipeline. To make this a reality, we need to ensure that we have the right resources in place, which include flexible and expert manufacturing capabilities, to enable us to ultimately create and deliver these future medicines to patients.”
“We are delighted to enter into this agreement,” said Stephan Kutzer, COO of Lonza Custom Manufacturing, in a press release. “To work with one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies on their biopharmaceutical pipeline is a great recognition of our efforts to adopt a collaborative approach with our customers. It allows joint manufacturing asset planning to ensure our customers can bring their pipeline of products to the market in an efficient and timely manner. We see this as a relationship that will bring significant benefits to both parties.”