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Lonza to boost complex manufacturing at underperforming Visp plant

By Gareth Macdonald , 09-Jan-2013

Swiss supplier Lonza has underlined its belief that ramping up complex manufacturing is key to improving the profitability of its Visp plant.

Earlier this week the firm announced it will double antibody drug conjugate (ADC) capacity as part of an effort to do more high value manufacturing to offset the negative impact the strong Swiss franc has on the site’s profitability.

Spokeswoman Melanie Disa told Outsourcing-pharma.com that: “With this investment we are able to establish additional high-tech and new technologies at our Visp site which fits well with the portfolio expansion we are seeking for Visp as part of the project VispChallenge.”

She explained that making ADCs in compliance with current good manufacturing practices (cGMP) utilizes Lonza’s aseptic biologics capabilities as well as its experience in the safe handling and manipulation of large quantities of highly potent cytotoxic small molecules. 

Lonza is currently producing ADCs from mg research scale through large scale commercial supply. The new capacity will focus mainly on late phase clinical and commercial supply,” Disa continued, adding that expansion will double the firm’s ADC output when completed in 2014.

Competition

We also asked Disa how Lonza intends to maintain its position in the ADC contracting market given that several competitors – Novasep, Piramal and Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies – have recently ramped up activity.

We are clearly differentiated as we are the only company capable of offering the full range of services for ADC manufacturing – biologics, conjugation, and toxin manufacturing,” she responded.

Disa also suggested that Lonza’s scale and ability to offer a range of services would be attractive to drugmakers keen to reduce supply chain complexity and increase efficiency.

Our customers benefit from our extensive experience and supply chain harmonization in dealing with a sole supplier for multiple services as well as a company with extensive expertise in biologics and chemical manufacturing and all associated analytics.”   

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