Lonza to support AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 antibody combo

Lonza will provide drug substance manufacturing for a potential COVID-19 monoclonal antibody combination therapy from its mid-scale facility in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

The deal, financials of which have not been disclosed, will see Swiss contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) Lonza make two monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) for AstraZeneca’s candidate AZD7442, currently in Phase I clinical studies as a potential treatment of COVID-19.

The project will be one of the first from Lonza’s latest facility in Portsmouth, commissioned in 2018, with initial runs taking place in the first half of next year. The plant offers mid-scale mammalian capacity through four 6,000 L stainless steel manufacturing trains. The site also includes three 5,000 L and five 20,000 L stainless steel runs.

Read more on Lonza’s New Hampshire facility – Middle class: Lonza on the flexibility of midscale biomanufacturing

A Lonza spokesperson could not divulge how much of the plant would be dedicated to this project, but did say this adds to the substantial number of COVID-19 projects the CDMO is involved in.

“We have received over 100 enquiries and we are working with a number of institutions and companies on therapeutics and vaccines, at various stages of development.”

Some of the partnerships in the public domain include: Lonza producing batches of Moderna’s late-stage mRNA vaccine mRNA-1273 from a different facility in New Hampshire; MAb manufacturing for Humanigen’s Phase III therapy lenzilumab; Licensing of the GS Xceed Expression System for Junshi Biosciences anti-PD-1 therapy against COVID, JS016; And a similar licensing deal with the University of Queensland.

CORRECTION (04/13/2021) – The original artiel stated the 6,000 L runs consisted of 3 x 2,000 L single-use bioreactors. This is not the case.

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