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Lonza Acquires the Bioproducts Manufacturing Division of UCB

Basel (Switzerland) and Brussels (Belgium), January 17, 2006 - Lonza and UCB jointly announce that Lonza, a global peptide custom manufacturer, has acquired the Bioproducts manufacturing division of UCB ("Bioproducts") for an amount of EUR 120 million.

UCB-Bioproducts has been active in chemical peptide manufacturing for over 20 years, and has developed considerable capabilities and expertise during this period. This division, with approximately 300 employees,  is located in Braine-l'Alleud just outside of Brussels, Belgium.

Stefan Borgas, Chief Executive Officer of Lonza commented: "We are quite excited to welcome the fully dedicated, highly qualified and entrepreneurial UCB colleagues to join our global business. With this acquisition Lonza further strengthens its position as a worldwide leader in custom peptide manufacturing by continuing to develop the Braine  l'Alleud site as a global centre of excellence for the development and manufacture of peptides." Lonza has participated in peptide production since 1997. Both companies are very well acknowledged in the worldwide market and have expertise in peptide manufacturing .

 

Roch Doliveux, Chief Executive Officer of UCB said:  "This transaction is another strategic move towards UCB's quest of becoming a global biopharmaceutical leader focusing on research, development, and commercialisation of therapeutic solutions for severe diseases.  The reputation and strategic focus of Lonza as a leading contract manufacturer will enable the Bioproducts division to further strengthen its leading position and join a group focused on custom manufacturing with whom UCB has several other long term manufacturing relationships. We would like to pay tribute to everyone involved in making the Bioproducts business such a success, for their skill and dedication."

 

The expertise in liquid phase technology developed by Bioproducts complements Lonza's existing skills in peptide production, with a focus on large-scale solid phase peptide synthesis, and recombinant fermentation production. There are three current technologies available to produce peptides: liquid phase peptide synthesis, solid phase peptide synthesis and recombinant technology. The first two are chemical syntheses and the third is microbial fermentation. By merging the businesses, Lonza will be the only contract manufacturer with a historically successful track record of providing Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) from any of the three peptide technologies.

Lonza is now capable of providing the market with additional capacity quickly. This acquisition provides Lonza with another global site to serve its customer base, in addition to the three sites, in Switzerland, the United States and Czech Republic, thus significantly reducing customers' sourcing risks.

About Lonza

Lonza, a chemical and biotechnology company, driven by the life sciences, generated sales of CHF 2.18 billion in 2004. Headquartered in Switzerland, Lonza operates 18 production and R&D sites around the world. Its 5,700 employees are passionately committed to delivering sustainable value to their customers. Lonza is the leading custom manufacturers of chemical intermediates, active ingredients and biopharmaceuticals for the pharmaceutical and agrochemical industries. On the basis of organic chemical, oleochemical and biotechnology platforms, Lonza creates value-added solutions for the nutrition, hygiene & personal care, wood & water treatment and industrial specialty markets. Lonza also offers polymer intermediates, resins and compounds. Further information can be found on our website www.lonza.com.

About UCB

UCB (www.ucb-group.com) is a global biopharmaceutical leader with headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, specialising in the fields of central nervous system disorders, inflammatory diseases, and oncology. UCB key products are Keppra® (antiepileptic), Xyzal® and Zyrtec® (antiallergics), Nootropil® (cerebral function regulator), Tussionex® (antitussive) and Metadate(TM) / Equasym XL(TM) (attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder). UCB employs over 8,500 people operating in over 40 countries. UCB is listed on Euronext Brussels (UCB / UCBBt.BR / UCB BB).

For further information:


Lonza Group AG

Media Relations

Christine Menz

Tel +41 61 316 8253

Fax +41 61 316 9253

christine.menz@lonza.com

Lonza Group AG

Investor Relations

Laura Gerber

Tel +41 6 1 316 8347

Fax +41 61 316 8220

laura.gerber@lonza.com

UCB

Investor Relations

Jean-Christophe Donck

Tel +32 2 559 9264

Fax +32 2 559 9571

jc.donck@ucb-group.com


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