Lonza to acquire manufacturing site from Roche in major $1.2 billion deal

By Isabel Cameron

- Last updated on GMT

© Lonza
© Lonza

Related tags Lonza Roche Genentech CDMO Manufacturing

Lonza is set to acquire a large-scale manufacturing site from Roche-owned U.S. giant Genentech for $1.2 billion.

The site, in Vacaville, California, is one of the largest biologics manufacturing facilities in the world, with a total bioreactor capacity of 330,000 liters.

According to Lonza, the move will significantly increase its large-scale biologics manufacturing capacity for mammalian therapies and extend the presence of its facility network in the U.S.

The company​ also plans to invest a further $500 million to upgrade the facility and ‘enhance capabilities’.

“The Vacaville site is a highly valuable strategic acquisition that will make capacity immediately available for our customers and unlock future growth for our biologics division. It will support us in providing a commercialization path to existing customers and incremental large-scale commercial capacity to our partners,” said Jean-Christophe Hyvert, president, biologics at Lonza.

“We have deep and long-standing industrial expertise in delivering commercial scale manufacturing services for our customers’ therapies. In combining this with the strong legacy of the Vacaville facility, its highly skilled colleague community and its proven track record on quality, we are excited to take our leading large-scale mammalian offering to its next chapter of growth.”

The products currently manufactured at the site by Genentech will continue to be supplied by Lonza in the short-term, before phasing out over time as the site transitions to serve new customers.

Under the agreement, approximately 750 Genentech employees at the California site will also be offered employment by Lonza.

Demand for capacity for commercial biologics is expected to remain high across the CDMO sector as many innovative new therapies reach approval.

In this context, Lonza claims the acquisition will provide its customers with 'immediate' access to significant new capacity in the U.S., currently the world’s largest pharmaceutical market.

The deal will also create a ‘significant’ west coast commercial manufacturing presence for the Swiss contract drug manufacturer​, complementing its existing biologics site on the East Coast in Portsmouth. 

In light of the news, Lonza has also raised its sales growth guidance from 11-13% to 12-15%, with the deal expected to drive considerable profit.

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