Lonza, in a statement, confirmed signing a strategic collaboration for bioconjugation with a global biopharma company.
Under the terms of the agreement, Lonza will construct two new customer-dedicated conjugation suites for the commercialization of antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) at its site in Visp, Switzerland.
As part of Lonza’s Ibex® Dedicate model, a technology-agnostic supply solution that helps reduce time to market and control investment risk, two bioconjugation suites totaling 1,500m2 of active manufacturing space will be built out within a pre-existing shell. The new suites will also benefit from established quality control (QC) labs, logistics, and other central services, allowing for faster ramp-up times, assured delivery, and high performance.
The high throughput bioconjugation suites will be capable of handling highly potent materials for cancer therapies and will initially manufacture two therapies. The new dedicated facility will employ around 200 staff, with operations expected to start from the end of 2022.
ADC’s are bioconjugates and represent an innovative therapeutic modality that is growing rapidly and providing effective therapies to patients with reduced side effects. ADC’s usually combine an antibody with a highly potent payload (via a linker molecule) to target cancer cells. The antibody serves as the delivery method to target the toxic drug precisely to cancer cells, limiting toxicity to healthy cells.
Lonza has developed the specific expertise and technology to de-risk the development and manufacturing of bioconjugates and now supports the majority of commercially approved ADCs. In addition, Lonza also offers all elements of a complex supply chain, including manufacturing of biomolecule, synthetic payload, linker, and subsequent conjugation at a single site.
“Bioconjugates represent an exciting class of molecules that are proving their worth and making a real difference to patients suffering from diseases such as cancer. From a manufacturing point of view, antibody-drug conjugates are challenging to produce, and we will be ensuring that our partner can de-risk supply and scale-up rapidly at this crucial moment of commercialization,” said Pierre-Alain Ruffieux, Lonza’s Chief Executive Officer.
“This collaboration demonstrates the power behind our Ibex® Dedicate model, providing rapid and reliable delivery of complex therapeutics and tailored to individual customer needs. Our site in Visp, Switzerland, now has all the elements required for antibody-drug conjugates at one site and this provides significant supply chain simplification and other logistical benefits to our customers, enabling them to reach patients faster,” concluded Jean-Christophe Hyvert, Lonza’s Chief Commercial Officer.
Featured Image: Lonza facility, Visp, Switzerland Courtesy: © 2017 – 2020. Lonza. Used with permission.