Earlier this year, Lonza, a global leader in chemical and biological manufacturing, held the grand opening of its new state-of-the-art pharmaceutical Drug Product Services laboratories in the Stücki Science Park in Basel, Switzerland. A highly innovative city, Basel prides itself with offering great prospects for companies in the (bio) pharmaceuticals, life sciences, high-tech and natural sciences sectors. The new science park in is located in the tri-border region of Switzerland, France and Germany, making it an attractive location with a huge potential for growth and strong economic activity.
The new Drug Product Service laboratory teams in the new 1,300 m2 (13,995 Sq ft) facility, led by Hanns-Christian Mahler, PhD, will focus initially on formulation development, drug product analytical development and quality control.
“We could conceivably have used existing operational Lonza sites for the development of Lonza’s Drug Product Services division, such as Slough in England or Visp in Valais. We also looked at another laboratory location in Basel. The stimulating environment influenced our decision in favour of Stücki Science Park, on the one hand, with pharmaceutical and start-up companies on the site. On the other hand, the laboratories and offices on Stücki Science Park provide modern infrastructure,” Mahler said in an interview published on the developer’s website.
Approximately 75 guests and a number of Lonza participants attended the ribbon-cutting event, which featured a tour of the facility, hands-on experimental stations, and a virtual reality journey into the world of Drug Product development, manufacture and administration.
Thriving R&D environment
“The new state-of-the-art facility can support not just global, established pharma customers, but also small startups like the ones that make their home in Basel,” noted Christoph Brutschin, State Councillor, Head of the Department of Economic, Social and Environmental Affairs of the Canton of Basel-Stadt and President of the Conference of the Cantonal Councillors for the Economy (CCCE), one of the dignitaries attending the event, confirming that Switzerland, and Basel in particular, has a thriving R&D environment.
Product development facility
Richard Ridinger, CEO of Lonza, said: “We chose Basel for Lonza’s first-ever drug product development facility because it offers us access to the latest technologies and world-leading experts in a central location, one that’s a hub of innovation in the pharma industry.”
“The addition of drug product development services to Lonza’s global offerings is the next part of our journey along the healthcare continuum, a step that moves us closer to our customers and their patients,” Ridinger added.
Meeting patient treatment challenges
One of the key reasons why Lonza developed this new facility is the company’s drive to enable customers to meet some of the greatest challenges in patient treatment.
Led by an expert team with more than 35 years of large pharma, strategy and regulatory experience, the Drug Product Services team works closely with the Drug Substance sites across the Lonza network.
Together with the existing Development and Drug Substance manufacturing capabilities, the new facility enables the company to provide one-stop-shop service solutions for drug development customers, allowing Lonza’s customers to work with one strategic partner from discovery through clinical supply.
This approach offers drug developers a more in-depth knowledge of products and addresses the current challenges of parenteral drug product development.
Drug Product Services will focus on parenteral dosage forms, including products for injection and infusion for intravenous, subcutaneous, intraocular and other routes of parenteral administration. Services further include options for monocolonal antibodies, other biologics, drug conjugates, peptides and small molecules that require a parenteral dosage form.
“We will be able to develop and analyze formulations of antibody-drug conjugates or ADCs (liquid and lyophilisates) and intermediate monoclonal antibodies (mAbs). A HPAPI lab was designed to support that service,” Hanns-Christian Mahler noted.
“Our teams will utilize industry best practices to successfully advance customers’ drug product development programs,” Mahler concluded.
In addition to providing services like particle testing or container closure integrity testing to enable safer medicines, the Lonza hub offers services to detect trace impurities in pharmaceutical products, e.g. extractables and leachables from plastics used in manufacturing.
All of these services are offered as standalone or as part of a comprehensive drug product development program, comprising formulation, stability, primary packaging, process development, and manufacturing, always with patient usability and patient safety in mind.
Disclosure: Lonza is one of the founding sponsors of ADC Review, Journal of Antibody-drug Conjugates.