Sanofi and Lonza JV to build 200 person biologics facility in Visp

By Dani Bancroft

- Last updated on GMT

Sanofi and Lonza to joint build 200 person biologics facility in Visp

Related tags Monoclonal antibodies

Sanofi and Lonza will construct a large-scale mammalian cell culture manufacturing site in Switzerland, with an initial investment of CHF 290m ($288m).

Lonza will design and construct a monoclonal antibody production facility in Visp, Switzerland, which will be jointly operated with Sanofi to support the French firm’s pipeline, around 60% of which is biologic-based.

Nicolas Kressmann, a spokesperson for Sanofi, told Biopharma-Reporter, “This investment supports the launch of these products by enabling Sanofi to expand production capabilities in biologics.”

Projected to be complete by 2020, Kressmann explained that 18 of the French firm’s products are also set for market launch within this timeframe.

This includes six key product launches: Toujeo, Praluent, Dengvaxia, sarilumab, LixiLan and dupilumab, the combined income of which “could generate aggregate peak sales of €12bn to €14bn by 2025,” ​he explained.

Lonza will leverage its facility design​ expertise to start construction this year, in a similar style to the firm’s other production sites in the US and Singapore.

Constance Ward, a spokesperson for Lonza, told us the space will be designed to accommodate 200 employees, although declined to comment on further details about the facility design.

“Lonza is a highly experienced partner in this field and the capabilities which this joint venture will create are critical to meeting our patients’ needs for these important therapies,” ​said Philippe Luscan, EVP of Global Industrial Affairs at Sanofi.


As part of the agreement, Sanofi will have additional access to biomanufacturing capacity “to support increasing demands.”

In the new facility, Lonza will be able to market its share and the extra capacity to third parties when it’s not being used by Sanofi.

“The strategic partnership with Sanofi represents the first module in this undertaking; and we are convinced that with this future-oriented approach, we can serve additional customers,” ​said Mark Funk, COO Pharma & Biotech, Lonza.

“It provides to Sanofi dedicated capacity, which allows for a clear win-win situation for all participants.”

Increased demand from Sanofi

Kressman told us, “Over a period of five years, Sanofi has implemented an ongoing investment program in building internal production capabilities.”

These include €250m ($265m) in Vitry-sur-Seine; €350m in Neuville-sur-Saône, both in support of key product launches and reflecting the significant investments Sanofi has made in biologics-based R&D programs; and a €300m investment to expand the Sanofi biologics site at Geel in Belgium.

The Visp facility area in the Canton of Valais, Switzerland (Image: © Lonza Group)
(Image: Visp, Switzerland - c/o Lonza Group) 

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