UCB and Lonza Enter Into a Strategic Bio-Manufacturing Alliance
Brussels and Basel, 13 May 2005 - UCB and Lonza have signed a long-term supply agreement, under which Lonza will manufacture PEGylated antibody fragment based bulk actives for UCB. Lonza is building a commercial scale biopharmaceutical manufacturing facility in Visp, Switzerland. The facility will contain two production trains with a fermentation capacity of 15,000 litres each, which will be operational starting in the second half of 2006. It will allow for conversion to manufacturing of different biopharmaceutical products and will be flexible enough to accommodate various processes.
Under the terms of the agreement UCB has reserved a fixed annual manufacturing capacity for recombinant microbial products, covering the period 2006 - 2012 with an extension option. The agreement allows UCB flexibility in scheduling to meet the clinical and commercial timelines for its portfolio of PEGylated antibody fragment based products.
"The investment underscores Lonza's track record as a biopharmaceutical custom manufacturer. This partnership with UCB represents a key milestone for the Lonza Group. We are now established as the leading custom manufacturing organisation in both mammalian and microbial biopharmaceuticals, both in large and small scale", said Stefan Borgas, CEO of Lonza Group Ltd.
"This alliance offers us a solid production capacity as well as access to state-of-theart know how and expertise in bio-manufacturing, essential for the successful implementation of our biopharmaceutical programs. Such long-term engagement clearly highlights UCB's commitment towards its proprietary technology for the production of high affinity antibody fragments in a microbial expression system. The leading product using this technology, Cimzia (CDP870), is currently undergoing a large Phase III program in Crohn's disease and in rheumatoid arthritis", commented Roch Doliveux, CEO of UCB.
Lonza is a life sciences driven company, headquartered in Switzerland, which generated sales of CHF 2.18 billion in 2004. It operates 18 production and R&D facilities in eight countries and employs 5670 people worldwide. Lonza is one of the leading custom manufacturers of chemical intermediates and active ingredients as well as biopharmaceuticals for the pharmaceutical and agrochemical industries. In addition, Lonza also offers organic intermediates for a wide range of applications and provides antimicrobial and associated products as well as polymer intermediates and compounds. For more information please visit the company's website at www.lonza.com.
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