3i invests in new Switzerland based biologics-focused CDMO

By Jane Byrne contact

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/kiattisakch
© GettyImages/kiattisakch

Related tags: Biologics, Lonza, Roche, Injectables

3i Group plc has partnered with a former Lonza executive to create a ‘pure-play, patient-centric and sustainable’ biologics drug product contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO).

Called ten23 health, the new entity is focused on helping innovative biotech and pharma customers develop and commercialize injectable biopharmaceutical drugs. It is headquartered in Basel, Switzerland.

"We haven’t disclosed any financials in relation to this transaction. While no set amount of capital has been committed for ten23, in a typical deal, 3i will invest in assets with an enterprise value in the range of €100m to €500m,"​ a spokesperson for 3i told BioPharma-Reporter.

The CDMO’s core service offering will include formulation development, drug product development and manufacturing, as well as testing services for sterile pharmaceutical products, said 3i, an investment firm operating both private equity and infrastructure divisions with both a Northern Europe and North America focus. 

“These high-value services are critical to helping pharma and biotech customers turn a scientific concept and therapeutic modality into a viable sterile medicine that is optimized for manufacturability, patient access and ease of administration, and logistical favorability.”

Dr Hanns-Christian Mahler is named CEO of ten23 health. He brings a wealth of experience to the role, having built a “highly successful business”​ within Lonza focused on drug product formulation development services and fill and finish manufacturing for biologics, said 3i.

Prior to his work in Lonza, Dr Mahler served as head of pharmaceutical development and supplies at Roche, where he built its biologics product development division.

Addressing unmet needs in the biotech sector 

Dr Mahler, CEO, ten23 health, outlined how there is a “significant unmet need in the biotech market"​ as the number and complexity of molecules and therapeutic modalities increase. He noted growing challenges with respect to stability, usability, and the successful commercialization of such medicines.

The former Lonza executive said ten23 health’s comprehensive offering will allow clients to focus on the medicine and the patient, with the CDMO leveraging its pharmaceutical expertise and knowledge "to plan and de-risk product development.”

The result, he said, will be shorter product timelines and higher probability of technical success, for clients, that ultimately leads to improved paths to commercialization and maximized return on R&D efforts.

3i’s demonstrated knowledge and deep understanding of the biotech landscape, including through investments in companies like SaniSure, made them an ideal partner in building ten23 health into a leader in the development, manufacturing and testing of injectable medicines, added Dr Mahler. 

Manufacturing, recruitment 

With respect to manufacturing, the 3i representative said that ten23 works with "trusted and qualified partners"​ with which it has established relationships through former projects. 

The CDMO has created around 20 positions for 2021 and plans to create at least as many in 2022, she said.

"The positions will initially be across pharmaceutical and analytical disciplines which should provide opportunities for experts and leaders in the fields of formulation, analytics, QC, QA, regulatory and sterile manufacturing." 

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