Lonza to Acquire Swiss Facility from Novartis
Swiss fine chemicals producer and drug developer Lonza has signed a binding agreement to acquire a sterile drug product fill & finish plant from Novartis, the first such facility in its production network. In future, the company will produce drug products at the facility for Novartis as well as providing capacity for additional customers.
The deal expected to be finalized within the coming months will enable Lonza Pharma & Biotech to build on existing parenteral drug product development and testing capabilities and offer an end-to-end service to customers for clinical supply and launch.
Currently the sterile, multi-product facility serves as the Novartis Center of Excellence for sterile clinical (phases 1 to 3) drug product manufacture. According to Lonza, it has an excellent quality and safety track record and is cGMP approved.
The Novartis premises include classified cleanroom areas for cGMP manufacture as well as office, lab space, utilities and storage. Lonza said it will continue sterile manufacturing, including liquid and lyophilized dosage forms for up to 200-liter bulk volumes, at the site.
Lonza Pharma & Biotech, which entered the field of drug product development services at the end of 2016, earlier announced expansions at its sites in Basel and at Visp, Switzerland.
From 2020 the Swiss group plans to expand development and testing labs into a larger building in Basel. Its Ibex Solutions fill and finish facility in Visp is on track to be operational from mid-2021.
Karen Fallen, head of Mammalian and Microbial Development and Manufacturing at Lonza Pharma & Biotech, said the planned acquisition represents the latest phase in the company’s stepwise expansion of parenteral drug product services, which should provide customers with shorter timelines to the clinic and best-in-class quality.