Groundbreaking for the New Large-Scale Biologics Production Facility in Visp

September 22,2017

Paris, France and Visp, Switzerland - September 22, 2017 - As part of the joint venture between Sanofi and Lonza, the two companies announced earlier this year that they will build a large-scale biologics production facility in Visp, Switzerland. Today construction work began with a symbolic groundbreaking ceremony.

The joint venture between Sanofi and Lonza for a strategic partnership to build and operate a large-scale mammalian cell culture facility for monoclonal antibody production in Visp was initially announced in February 2017. The strategic partnership combines the strong biologics development pipeline of Sanofi with the expertise of Lonza to design, construct, start-up and operate a state-of-the-art facility. The initial investment will be around CHF 290 million (€ 270 million), to be split equally between each company. 

The ceremony in Visp was attended today by representatives of both companies, including Richard Ridinger, Chief Executive Officer, Lonza, Marc Funk, Chief Operating Officer, Lonza, Philippe Luscan, Executive Vice President, Global Industrial Affairs, Sanofi, Brendan O’Callaghan, Senior Vice President & Global Head of Biologics, Sanofi as well as Vice President of the Wallis State Council Esther Waeber-Kalbermatten and Visp Community President Niklaus Furger.

“This facility is a clear demonstration of Lonza’s commitment to provide individual solutions to our customers and to create flexible set-ups that help them to navigate easily through production cycles. During the intense months of building this relationship, Sanofi and Lonza have learned to work closely together and better understand each other's working processes and needs. We look forward to the successful future of this joint undertaking”, said Marc Funk, Chief Operating Officer, Lonza.  

“Innovation in biologics is bringing life-changing medicines for complex diseases, creating new and sustainable opportunities for improved health worldwide. This strategic partnership will strengthen Sanofi’s ambitions in biopharmaceuticals and will enable us to better serve the future therapeutic needs of our patients with scalable and innovative manufacturing processes”, said Philippe Luscan, Executive Vice President, Global Industrial Affairs, Sanofi.

The partnership provides both Sanofi and Lonza with substantial flexibility in an innovative setup:

  • Each party will share the available capacity in line with their equity shareholding in the joint venture.
  • Sanofi will have additional access to bio-manufacturing capacity to support increasing demands for their portfolio of biologic therapeutic products, should they require it.
  • Lonza will be free to market their share of capacity, if not required by Sanofi, and will also market unused Sanofi capacity, where available.
  • Lonza will construct the facility and will support the joint venture in its operations of the facility.
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