The plant houses 1,000L and 2,000L bioreactors and associated downstream processing technologies and employs a staff of 100 people, all of whom have been offered jobs by the Swiss contract manufacturing organisation.
Lonza cited increasing demand for clinical-stage manufacturing and said “the acquisition of the site will provide additional cGMP capacity and will supplement our existing assets in Slough (UK).” It predicted that production will start next year.
A Lonza spokesman told us production activities at the facility will use single-use technologies.
He also said Lonza will make reagents used in a number of Shire products, but declined to share details.
Shire gained the site when it bought Baxalta last year.
The decision to sell the facility comes less than a year after Shire announced it planned to build a biologics manufacturing facility in Piercetown, County Meath, Ireland.
Lonza’s comments about increased demand for clinical stage mammalian cell culture-based manufacturing echo what it said about its commercial-scale business in its half-year statement.
At the time the contractor said: “Mammalian Manufacturing profited from uninterrupted production campaigns with high capacity utilization and its robust customer base, leading to further sales and performance increases in H1 2017.”
It also outlined its efforts to up capacity, highlighting the in-progress expansion of its facility in Portsmouth, New Hampshire and the facility it is building in Singapore as examples.