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17 Nov 2021

Lonza Switzerland site to undergo expansion of microbial development capabilities

The expansion includes the installation of a pilot suite with a 50-L fermenter and automation upgrades to accelerate clinical and commercial projects

Lonza's expansion plans show no signs of slowing with the global manufacturing partner announcing an investment in additional microbial developement capabilities at its Visp, Switzerland site.

The CDMO will increase capacity of development services targeting microbial-derived proteins with expanded laboratory space and equipment.

The new development capacity, which the company expects will be operational by the end of the year, will consolidate upstream and downstream development teams at Visp and add new high throughput equipment and automation processes to drive efficiency and project delivery.

The automation upgrades include three liquid handling workstations and other equipment dedicated to upstream and downstream process development, as well as analytical method development to accelerate and enhance customer process data generation.

Lonza will also install a dedicated pilot suite with a 50-L fermenter and corresponding downstream equipment, which will generate non-GMP product suitable for formulation and toxicology studies.

According to Shiva Khalafpour, Vice President, Head of Microbial Business Unit, Lonza the microbial-derived pipeline is "growing at a healthy rate driven by an increase in alternatives to antibodies".

Lonza said the planned expansion will enable it to support new customers by developing and manufacturing these molecules and other recombinant proteins for both clinical and commercial projects.

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