In 2017, Lonza and Sanofi entered into a strategic partnership, to build and operate a mammalian cell culture facility for monoclonal antibody production in Visp (CH). This large-scale commercial facility (20,000L bioreactors) provides a new model for CDMO-sponsor relations. Both companies have 50% of the available capacity, giving them substantial flexibility within the collaboration. The facility was completed and commenced operations in 2021.
In 2019, Lonza and Chr. Hansen established a 50/50 strategic joint venture (JV) for the development and manufacturing of live biotherapeutic products (LBP) for pharma and biotech customers. Operating under the name Bacthera, the JV has offered drug substance and drug product development services for customers developing LBP since the beginning of 2020. The company is located in Hørsholm (DK) and Basel (CH).
In May 2021, both of Bacthera’s facilities were granted manufacturing and GMP licenses by the respective national health authorities. This is a major milestone for the company, as they are now ready to supply customers with LBP for clinical trials in humans and ultimately develop commercial products.
There are currently no commercially available LBP, however, we are supporting a collaboration between Bacthera and Seres Therapeutics to manufacture SER-109, which has the potential to become the first-ever LBP to be produced commercially.
Under the terms of the agreement, Bacthera will establish a dedicated facility for commercial manufacturing in its new Microbiome Center of Excellence, a manufacturing site dedicated to the production of LBPs located at our Ibex® Solutions campus in Visp. The new facility will enable Bacthera to offer fully integrated end-to-end live biotherapeutic development, clinical trial material manufacturing and commercial manufacturing services and support companies in overcoming challenges and related manufacturing risks.