The partnership has facilitated fast technology transfers, as both companies benefit from the experience they have to offer each other in their particular field of activity.
Solvias, not being a production company, welcomes access to Lonza's production facilities, which operate under good manufacturing practice (cGMP) and International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) 9001 conditions.
An agreement for research and development made in April 2002 has further enshrined the collaboration.
The relationship between Lonza and Solvias began in the early 1990s with the development and use of Solvia's Josiphos ligands in the Lonza biotin process.
The Josiphos family of ligands provide manufacturers with the possibility to hydrogenate a complete range of substrates including ketones, imines, olefins, etc. depending on the chosen catalytic conditions.
In 1998 Lonza patented an exclusive route for the production of biotin (vitamin H -an essential part of the metabolic cycle), of which Josiphos ligands became a part.
Despite successful development of the industrial synthesis, Lonza decided to leave the biotin business in 1998.
However, Lonza still remains an established large-scale manufacturer of Solvias' ligands and the close partnership has continued, with many different projects being jointly developed, scaled up and produced on large scale.
Headquartered in Switzerland, Lonza is a chemical and biotechnology company driven by the life sciences, generating sales of CHF 2.18 billion (€1.4 billion) in 2004. Lonza operates 18 production and R&D sites around the world and has 5700 employees.
Solvias (former Ciba-Geigy Central Research) is an independent technology company providing scientific and technical services and products based on synthesis and analysis. Based in Basel, Switzerland it has over 220 employees.