Lonza invests $418m in two biomanufacturing solutions

By Ben Hargreaves

- Last updated on GMT

Aerial image of Lonza's Visp-based Biopark. (Image: Lonza)
Aerial image of Lonza's Visp-based Biopark. (Image: Lonza)

Related tags Lonza Ibex Solutions

Lonza announced it would invest in two new “Ibex Solutions”, which offer manufacturing capabilities to biotechs developing antibody therapies.

The solutions will be known as Ibex Design and Ibex Develop, costing CHF 400m ($418m), and will join the Ibex Dedicate plant that opened in July 2017.

At the time of the facility’s launch, the contract development and manufacturing organisation (CDMO) stated it planned five manufacturing complexes​ in total at the 1.1 million-square-foot Biopark, based in Visp, Switzerland.

The expansion to the original Ibex facility allows Lonza to offer antibody biomanufacturing services, from the pre-clinical stage to commercialisation.

A spokesperson for Lonza suggested the new offerings would reduce the timeline in which products could be developed: “Our knowledge of the market shows us that the new Ibex Solutions are a considerable improvement [on development timelines].

“Bear in mind that every month gained on the path to commercialisation has a significant financial value, particularly for smaller companies.”

Ibex Design will cover the early stages of development – from gene through to clinical Phase I. Ibex Develop will be able to take candidates past this stage, from Phase II onto commercialisation.

In terms of the technology that will be employed, the spokesperson said, “The two new solutions are packages based around single-use technology (SUT), up to 2,000L single-use bioreactors with single-use up and downstream. The Ibex Dedicate offering is technology agnostic – we can put in a wide range of technologies if needed, but the new offerings we’re launching, IbexTM Design and IbexTM Develop, will use SUT.”

Lonza also highlighted that beyond utilising SUT, it will also make use of a “high degree of automation”​ to improve efficiency across the solutions.

This is the latest investment for Lonza as it looks to expand its presence in the biologics space. Earlier this year, the CDMO announced plans to establish four ‘Centers of Excellence for Cell and Gene Therapy’​ in Europe and the US.

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