The investment totals about CHF 24 million (€20m) and is focused on several areas of Lonza's peptides and oligonucleotides (tides) large-scale current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) manufacturing activities.
"By expanding its manufacturing activities Lonza is responding to … the increasing number of new entities entering clinical phase trials," said the company in a statement.
The demand for clinical trial material (CTM) will be met by the construction of a new mid-scale tides plan, as well as additional high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) purification and new freeze-drying equipment.
Lonza said it is the only manufacturer able to offer liquid-phase, solid-phase and recombinant (microbial fermentation) technology for the manufacture of peptide APIs.
A report published earlier this year by Frost & Sullivan estimated that the global therapeutic peptides market is valued at around $1 billion (€756m), with Europe contributing about $300m of that total, and will grow by around 10.5 per cent a year between 2003 and 2010. This means that the European market for peptides stands to double in size by 2010 to $605m.
One driver behind the resurgent interest in peptides has been the development of large synthetic and biological peptide libraries that, in combination with high-throughput screening processes, has enhanced the prospects of obtaining new drug candidates.
According to F&S, Bachem is currently the leading manufacturer in the European therapeutic peptides market followed by UCB, PolyPeptide Laboratories, Peptisyntha and Diosynth.