Lonza to make Junshi Biosciences antibody at China facility

Lonza has expanded its collaboration with Junshi Biosciences to develop and manufacture an antibody candidate at its recently opened, Guangzhou facility.

Swiss contract development manufacturing organization (CDMO) Lonza has extended its partnership with Chinese firm Junshi Biosciences to advance and manufacture biologics. The agreement also includes the production of an antibody candidate that will be manufactured at Lonza’s site in Guangzhou, China.

Under the agreement,  Lonza will provide support to  develop and manufacture current and future antibody-based products in Junshi Biosciences’ pipeline with both firms aiming to advance the products into international markets.

Image/iStock: JulyVelchev

“The signing of this collaboration indicates that the relationship between the two parties has been taken to a new level,” said Jeff Li, VP of Commercial Development at Lonza. “As a major milestone for Lonza’s biopharmaceutical facility in Guangzhou, the collaboration also demonstrates Lonza’s vision to provide high-quality and reliable services for local pharmaceutical companies under the CDMO model.”

The Guangzhou site has been fully operational since Q1 2021 and it is the CDMO’s first mammalian facility in China.

Lonza commissioned the 17,000 m² plant based on Cytiva’s (known as GE Healthcare at the time) off-the-shelf modular biologics factory, KUBio platform in December 2018, with the intention to supply antibody drugs locally and break into the Chinese market.

“Lonza is committed to making a continuous investment in China as we are fully aware of the booming biologics pipeline in the Chinese market,” a spokesperson from Lonza told BioProcess Insider. “We are making every effort to ensure that our increasing capabilities/capacity in China can help Chinese biotech and pharma clients progress their programs quickly and efficiently to allow them to access the global market.”

Xceed Gene Expression System

The firm has not divulged what Junshi Biosciences antibody candidate intends to treat. However, the antibody-based products will be expressed using Lonza’s GS Xceed Gene Expression System.

According to Lonza, the GS Xceed Gene Expression System is “a robust, fully integrated, scalable platform with a proven track record of successfully taking programs from gene through development to commercial production.” She continued: “With the ability to rapidly and reliably generate high-producing cell lines, the system can support the optimal expression of monoclonal antibodies and next-generation biologics, helping reduce the time to market.”

Lonza’s GS Xceed Expression System has already successfully launched China’s first local antibody targeting PD-1 (Toripalimab Injection, TUOYI ) in 2018. Both companies also partnered in July 2020 to produce a neutralizing antibody drug JS016 (etesevimab) for COVID-19 using the expression system, which entered clinical trials in China in the same year.

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