Lonza to expand DP capabilities in Switzerland

Lonza will invest in additional drug product manufacturing capabilities in Switzerland to accelerate existing service offerings in Basel and Visp.

The expansion will see contract development manufacturing organization (CDMO) Lonza install an aseptic fill-finish line in Stein, Switzerland and expand drug product services in Basel and Visp.

“We constantly assess our assets and invest in developing and installing new capacity and technology to meet the market demand in biologics,” Peter Droc, head of drug product services at Lonza told BioProcess Insider.

A Lonza filling line. Image c/o Lonza

“The additional fill and finish capacity represents a strategic addition to Lonza’s drug product services business unit by reducing complexity for customers and offering a complete fill and finish service. The investment is needed because it helps us to address the high demand for our drug product services.”

The line will support liquid and lyophilized vial filling and processing, pre-filled syringes, and cartridges.

According to the CDMO, the filling line will use robotic and freeze-drying technology with an air-cooling system and enables Lonza to process different modalities, including monoclonal antibodies (mAbs), viral vectors, bioconjugates, and other gene therapy products.

Installation of the line is anticipated to be complete by 2023 and will create more than 70 jobs at the Stein plant, of which Droc said “recruitment has already begun as part of a broad recruitment campaign in progress.”

Lonza acquired the Stein plant from big pharma firm Novartis in July 2019.

The CDMO is also increasing its drug product services for parenteral dosage forms in Basel. The expansion aims to boost development and characterization capabilities offered from the Stücki Technologiepark, as well as supporting pharmaceutical development for early and late clinical stages.

“Generally, we continue to see strong demand growth for drug product-related services fueled by increasing patient populations, high market penetration of new drugs and a strong mammalian development pipeline. The expansion aims to implement new capacity and capabilities for various customers and future collaborations,” said Droc.

No financial details have been disclosed but the expanded facilities in Basel are expected to be operational in 2024.