Lonza and Israel Biotech Fund Collaborate

30.05.2022 - Lonza and Israel Biotech Fund (IBF) have signed a framework agreement, under which the Swiss CDMO will provide advice and support for Israeli biotech companies. IBF is dedicated to investing in and developing Israel’s biotech sector.

Under the agreement, Lonza will advise IBF in its due diligence review of candidate biotech targets and provide tailored advice and services to IBF’s portfolio companies. Lonza said the move will accelerate development timelines while also mitigating the risk of developing and manufacturing molecules ranging from monoclonal antibodies and complex proteins to antibody-drug conjugates.

Pnina Weitz, global head of venture capital business development and relationship management at Lonza, commented: “IBF’s network will allow Lonza to benefit from these connections and offer services and expertise across multiple modalities. Lonza's customized and scalable solutions in the development and manufacture of both biologics and small molecules will allow these companies to leverage our global network and experience and focus on what they do best – developing innovative and transformative treatments."

Ido Zairi, co-founder and managing partner of IBF,  added that the unique business model offered by the collaboration will see its portfolio companies benefit from a streamlined development and manufacturing process, allowing them to focus on R&D and pre-clinical studies.

According to the companies, the number of biotech start-ups established every year in Israel has averaged 150 in the past decade. At the end of 2020, there were more than 1,750 life science companies, many of which are start-ups and small biotech firms.

In separate news, Lonza is investing in extra inhalation capabilities at its site in Tampa, Florida, USA, which specializes in the development, clinical and commercial manufacturing of small molecule-based therapies targeting respiratory diseases and disorders, such as cancer, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

The project will establish additional capacity for dry powder inhaler product development services, as well as increased capabilities for analytics and containment of highly potent APIs. The new facilities are expected to start operating in June 2022.

With a rising global incidence of respiratory illnesses and disorders, Lonza said the need for improved localized delivery is expected to grow.

Author: Elaine Burridge, Freelance Journalist