Lonza Opens Drug Product Services Labs in Basel

09.11.2016 -

In the presence of journalists and dignitaries, Swiss specialty chemicals and biologics producer Lonza last week celebrated the grand opening of its new state-of-the-art pharmaceutical Drug Product Services laboratories located at Stücki Science Park in Basel, Switzerland. The new 1300 m2 facility, which the company said employs 25 “highly qualified scientists,” will focus initially on formulation development, drug product analytical development and quality control.

Along with providing services such as particle testing or container closure integrity testing to enable safer medicines, the new Lonza laboratories will offer services to detect trace impurities in pharmaceutical products, including extractables and leachables from plastics used in manufacturing. All of the services will be offered as standalone or as part of a comprehensive drug product development program comprising formulation, stability, primary packaging, process development and manufacturing with an eye to patient usability and safety.

Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, CEO Richard Ridinger said the addition of drug product development services to its global offerings is the next part of Lonza’s journey along the healthcare continuum, moving it closer to its customers and their patients.  From the 15 locations reviewed, he said the company’s home base of Basel was chosen for its first-ever drug product development facility as the city is a hub of innovation in the pharma industry. Located on the Rhine River, Basel is home to major international drugmakers such as Novartis and Roche as well as being a base for specialty chemicals.

The new lab facility is headed by Hanns-Christian Mahler, who leads Lonza’s Drug Product Services business. The executive led the departments of pharmaceutical development & supplies and formulation R&D biologics at Roche for ten years.

At the same time, Lonza said it is implementing a new dedicated facility concept for small molecules using modern technologies, including extensive online analytical monitoring designed to facilitate real-time release testing. This dedicated train guarantees access to manufacturing capacity for Clovis and allows coverage of the full range of anticipated demand scenarios for commercial supply, the company added.

Rucaparib is a candidate targeting various cancer types through the inhibition of DNA-repair enzyme poly-ADP ribose polymerase-1, 2 and 3 (PARP-1, -2 and -3). The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted the molecule Breakthrough Therapy Designation for monotherapy treatment of patients with advanced ovarian cancer with BRCA-mutated tumors and who have been treated with two or more chemotherapies.