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Lonza launches manufacturing for early-phase biologics; Regenicin pays up

By Gareth Macdonald , 22-Jun-2011

Lonza has launched a new process development and material supply service designed for the discovery and early development market.

The service, known as ‘Light Path,’ is focused on the manufacture and supply of mg to kg quantities of novel biologic drug candidates using both mammalian and microorganism-based production platforms.

Janet White, head of the Swiss firm’s development services unit, said: “We’ve designed Light Path for customers whose short-term early stage goals are of paramount importance and who still want access to Lonza’s renowned experience, experts, facilities and technologies.”

The service is being made available at Lonza’s biologics development sites in Slough and Cambridge in the UK, its plant in Hopkinton, Massachusetts and its recently expanded facilities in Tuas, Singapore and Visp, Switzerland.

The new offering fits with Lonza’s focus on expanding its custom manufacturing business, which saw firm invest £16m to expand its Slough operation and, more recently, saw it add cytotoxic active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) capacity in Visp.

The decision to focus the service on early development projects is also consistent with its longer term effort to improve capacity utilisation for biologics which, despite an increase during the most recently reported quarter, has fluctuated over the last few years.

Regenicin

In other news, one of Lonza’s customers, regenerative cell therapy developer Regenicin, has paid the Swiss firm for its role in moving the candidate burn treatment PermaDerm through the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) process.

The move follows an allegation by Lonza’s that Regenicin was late in making a payment due on June 1 and was therefore in breach of the technology license agreement it established in August last year.

In a press statement Regenicin said that “While there was a dispute in the amount owed under the Agreement, in order to avoid a conflict with an important contractual partner in the pursuit of its business objectives, Regenicin paid Lonza the invoices claimed in full.”

Lonza has not yet commented.