Lonza to Establish Strategic Chinese Biomanufacturing Base

December 10, 2018
Pharmaceutical Technology Editors

The company will use GE Healthcare’s off-the-shelf KUBio biologics factory, which is expected to start operations in 2020, to provide development and manufacturing for early- to late-clinical and early-commercial manufacturing stages.

On Dec. 10, 2018, Lonza announced that it will establish a biomanufacturing base in China. The company signed an agreement with GE Healthcare under which GE Healthcare will deliver a biologics facility to a site in Guangzhou. The facility is expected to be operational in 2020.

The facility is part of a larger biomanufacturing initiative between GE Healthcare and Guangzhou Development District (GDD), which will be finalized when contracts have been signed with the GDD. Lonza is also expected to sign a memorandum of understanding with the GDD to take the project forward. The new facility will give Lonza Pharma & Biotech a strategic base in China to respond to growing demand for high-quality contract services in the country.

Lonza intends to offer its suite of antibody development services and to manufacture GMP-certified batches by 2020. The 17,000 m2 site will include 6500 m2 of lab space and one KUBio facility. The labs will house the company’s proprietary platforms for cell-line construction, including the GS Gene Expression System, as well as process development, cell banking, and
pilot labs.

The KUBio unit will enable small-scale GMP manufacturing equipped with GE Healthcare’s single-use biomanufacturing technologies, including 1000-L and 2000-L bioreactors, combined with Lonza’s automation platforms for clinical and early-commercial supply.

“This partnership is the ideal way for Lonza to bring our expertise and technology to China,” said Marc Funk, COO, Lonza Pharma & Biotech, in a company press release. “The combination of a strong and experienced technology provider with a long history in China, together with a dynamic regional authority, means that we can rapidly offer services to customers and ultimately get innovative therapies to patients more quickly.”

GE Healthcare is working with the GDD to support large-scale manufacturing of biopharmaceuticals in China. “This agreement is yet another step in realizing our vision of enabling and supporting manufacturers of all sizes to quickly deploy capacity and meet increasing customer demand for biologics,” said Emmanuel Ligner, president and CEO, GE Healthcare Life Sciences, in the press release.

In addition to the new Chinese site, Lonza Pharma & Biotech’s network comprises small-, mid-, and large-scale assets in Switzerland, the United States, the United Kingdom, Spain, and Singapore. Lonza plans to hire and train more than 160 staff.

Source: Lonza