Lonza Snaps up Drug Production Facility From Novartis

Drug production assembly line

Swiss pharma and chemical company Lonza announced this morning that it will acquire a sterile drug product fill & finish facility from Novartis. The facility, located in Stein, Switzerland, will be the first for the facility for Lonza’s Drug Product Services (DPS). No employees are expected to lose their jobs with the deal.

The site will be the first Lonza DPS facility to cover sterile manufacturing for clinical production and commercial launches, the company said. The new facility will help Lonza Pharma & Biotech build on existing parenteral drug product development and testing capabilities, the company said. Also, the facility will provide its customers with an end-to-end service for clinical supply and launch. It will be the first sterile drug product fill and finish facility in Lonza’s network, the company said this morning.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The facility in question is not a terribly old one for Novartis The site came online in 2009 and includes classified cleanroom areas for cGMP manufacture as well as office, lab space, utilities and storage. Lonza said the facility will continue to perform sterile manufacturing including liquid and lyophilized dosage forms for up to 200L bulk volumes for clinical supply and commercial launch. Lonza will continue to employ the highly experienced team at the facility.

The facility being acquired currently serves as the Novartis Center of Excellence for sterile clinical drug product manufacture. The site is capable of developing drugs for all clinical stages of study, Lonza said. Once the deal is closed, which is expected to happen within a few months, Lonza said it will begin producing its own drug products, as well as provide capacity for additional customers. Lonza DPS launched three years ago and has expanded to meet customer demands, the company said. The facility in Stein is expected to work in conjunction with Lonza DPS’ other site in Basel, Switzerland.

“The intended acquisition of the sterile drug product fill and finish facility in Stein will be the latest phase in our step-wise expansion of parenteral drug product services. Combined with our development services, this manufacturing facility will provide our customers with shorter timelines to the clinic and best-in-class quality for parenteral product development through commercialization,” Karen Fallen, head of mammalian and microbial development and manufacturing at Lonza Pharma & Biotech said in a statement.

Click to sign up for newsletters

Lonza Pharma & Biotech entered the field of drug product development services at the end of 2016 and since that time it has announced multiple expansions across its facilities in Switzerland. The expansions are expected to continue. The company said from 2020 the group will expand development and testing labs into a larger building in Basel and expects its Ibex Solutions fill and finish facility in Visp to be operational on-track from mid-2021. The new facility in Stein will be fully incorporated into Lonza’s offering and will give pharma and biotech customers immediate access to the full range of development, testing and manufacturing services for parenterally administered medicines, the company said.

Last year, the company established a biomanufacturing base in China.

“We will continue to provide best-in-class development and commercialization options for our customers, using our scientific approach together with our regulatory and industrial experience and to deliver with the highest quality standards,” Hanns-Christian Mahler, head of drug products services at Lonza Pharma & Biotech said.

Back to news