Lonza to invest in existing mammalian cell culture facilities after strong Q1

By Gareth Macdonald contact

- Last updated on GMT

iStock/sdavidi
iStock/sdavidi

Related tags: Pharmacology, Biotechnology

Lonza plans to expand mammalian cell culture-based drug and viral manufacturing capacity after growth in both businesses helped it to record first quarter sales.

The Swiss life sciences supplier reported its “strongest first quarter in history​” today, citing growth in its pharma and biotech and specialty ingredients segments.

The firm did not provide any figures, but did say pharma gains had been driven by demand for mammalian culture-based drug manufacturing, clinical development services and its emerging technologies business, which includes its cell and viral therapies operations.

Lonza also said it plans further “brown field investment” to increase capacity in line with demand seen in the first quarter of 2016.

A spokesman confirm the plan, telling us “We evaluate investments on a case by case basis, and brown field expansion basically means that we intend to invest and expand our offerings in existing facilities​.”

He also told us Lonza’s mammalian cell culture based manufacturing business – which is primarily concerned with the production of biopharmaceuticals – had benefited from higher demand for both commercially available drugs and clinical candidates.

Lona also gave its outlook for the three months to the end of June, explaining that “With this positive start into 2016 and the good momentum already continuing into the second quarter, we expect double-digit CORE EBIT growth for first half of 2016.”

Catalent

The Swiss firm’s announcement comes as rumors continue to circulate about a possible takeover bid for US contract manufacturing organization (CMO) Catalent.

A couple of weeks back, Reuters​ reported the firms were in takeover talks citing three people familiar with the matter.

When we asked for an update the Lonza spokesman told us the firm does not comment on market rumors.

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