Lonza to up mammalian bioreactor capacity by 136,000L

Lonza has invested $935 million to expand its mammalian manufacturing facilities in VispSwitzerland and Portsmouth, US 

Swiss contract development manufacturing organization (CDMO) Lonza will construct a large-scale stainless-steel plant in Visp and a small-scale, single-use technology facility in Portsmouth to respond to customer demand for mammalian drug substance production.  

“At Lonza, we are focused on supporting our customers to achieve efficient, high-throughput production processes and flexible manufacturing solutions,” said Jean-Christophe Hyvert, president, Biologics and Cell & Gene, Lonza.  

Image/iStock: efetova

He added: “Our customers’ needs range from the manufacture of small- to mid-volume products, such as innovative pharmaceuticals for rare diseases affecting smaller patient populations, to the large-scale commercial production of biologics. These expansions serve to strengthen our position as a critical partner in the development and manufacture of such medicines.” 

The 27,500 square-foot facility in Visp, Switzerland will boast six 20,000 L bioreactors and has been designed to support high titer processes, be energy efficient, and optimize water use. The firm anticipate that the site will be completed in 2024 and cost a total of $715 million.  

The Portsmouth, US facility will support late-phase clinical and commercial development, including technologies in automation, perfusion, and purification.  A spokesperson from Lonza told BioProcess Insider The single-use facility in Portsmouth will add capacity for eight 2,000 L single-use bioreactors over an area of 3,000 square feet.  

The required investment to execute the US expansion is $220 million, which according to the CDMO will service the growing need for small-scale manufacturing and to implement next-generation manufacturing technologies to support small- to mid-volume products through launch. 

The facility is expected to be completed in 2023 and the firm believeit complements its existing single-use sites in Hayward, US, Slough, UK, Tuas, Singapore, and Visp 

Recruitment ready 

Following the investment and expansions, Lonza has already began the recruitment process for both of the plants.  

At a global level, we are working tirelessly on recruiting new employees to match company growth and meet customer demand,” Lonza told us. “More than 300 new jobs will be created in Visp, while 250 new positions will be recruited in Portsmouth.”  

According to the CDMO, its recruitment process supports its commitment to the communities in which it operates.