The contract, which began in 2003, will be expanded to include the production of commercial quantities of a second unnamed B-MS biologic medicine at Lonza’s mammalian manufacturing facility in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
A B-MS spokesman told BioPharma-Reporter.com that Lonza currently manufactures the active drug ingredient for rheumatoid arthritis treatment Orencia (abatacept) in Portsmouth. Lonza also currently produces clinical supplies of an investigational biologics medicine for B-MS.
“Our expanded relationship with Lonza is an important example of our global manufacturing strategy to meet anticipated demand for our commercial biologics portfolio and prepare to bring our late-stage clinical assets to patients by supplementing our in-house manufacturing capabilities,” said Lou Schmukler, President, Global Manufacturing & Supply, B-MS.
B-MS is also increasing its own manufacturing capacity in order to meet current and future demand for its biologics.
“With several potential new biologics in our R&D pipeline, we are prudently increasing our biologic manufacturing capacity now in order to help ensure sufficient, long-term supply of our current and future biologic products,” a B-MS spokesman told us. “This is not a question of capabilities but rather increasing our capacity.”
B-MS previously selected Samsung Biologics in a 10-year deal to manufacture its monoclonal antibody Yervoy for markets outside the US. The companies later expanded that relationship to include other unnamed biologics.
In addition to its state- Portsmouth facility, Lonza offers three additional clinical-to-commercial mammalian production facilities in Tuas, Singapore; Porrino, Spain; and Slough, United Kingdom.
Questions were raised on whether Lonza would be able to fill its manufacturing capacity after a biosimilar JV with Teva fell through, though Lonza said it remained confident.
"We are pleased to extend our relationship with Bristol-Myers Squibb for the commercial production of their innovative drug-substance,” said Marc Funk, COO of Lonza’s Pharma & Biotech Segment. “This reinforces Lonza’s mission to support life-saving medicines by being a reliable supplier of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) for our customers with high-quality commercial GMP manufacturing services delivered to the market.”