Lonza is a preferred global partner to the pharmaceutical, biotech and nutrition markets. We optimize scientific innovation and manufacturing technology to enable our customers to serve their patients and consumers. By combining technological insight with world-class manufacturing, scientific expertise and process excellence, we help our customers to deliver new and innovative medicines that help treat a wide range of diseases.
Our services and products span from early-phase discovery to custom development and manufacturing of active pharmaceutical ingredients to innovative dosage forms for the pharma and consumer health and nutrition industries. Our scale and resources mean we can provide a one-stop solution for our customers. Our business is structured to meet our customers’ complex needs across four divisions: Biologics, Small Molecules, Cell & Gene and Capsules & Health Ingredients.
Process Development and Analytical Development as of 2023, cGMP manufacturing as of 2024
Full commercial as of 2026
Strategic innovation continues to drive progress and advancement across the healthcare industry. Specifically, innovation in pharmaceutical manufacturing directly impacts the market by providing critical tools to support the future success of novel drug candidates. By boosting efficiency and effectiveness in healthcare manufacturing, innovation enables developers to focus on the rapid development of novel and complex modalities that target unmet medical needs.
As a preferred CDMO, we leverage our substantial expertise and experience to drive innovation across multiple modalities and throughout the drug development process from discovery to development, manufacturing, and commercialization.
We believe that investing in research and development (R&D) is essential to meeting our customers’ long-term needs. Our R&D network supports innovation across all our divisions and modalities, leading to strong synergies and inventive projects that have the potential to deliver benefits to the wider industry and – ultimately – to the lives of our customers’ patients. Our key cross-divisional innovation areas are summarized below.
In recent years, digitalization and industry 4.0 has become the cornerstone of innovation. This global trend has wide-reaching implications for many industries including medicine, life sciences and healthcare manufacturing.
At Lonza, we are integrating various digital technologies into the drug development and manufacturing journey. “Bioprocessing 4.0” is about digitally connected process that supports improved speed, flexibility and efficiency, while managing cost. Such connected and integrated technologies can unlock greater depth of process knowledge, supported by advanced data management capabilities, which can be used to optimize and control processes.
We are already implementing machine learning algorithms (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) into our processes to navigate the complexity and speed requirements of manufacturing novel treatments. Examples of how AI has been implemented include using computer vision technologies in quality assurance for product quality optimization, and developing hybrid approaches for process scale-ups that combine AI, mechanistic models and statistics.
AI, ML and big data management are used in our R&D teams to support computer-aided drug design, protein profile assessment, engineering mammalian expression systems with DNA element design, and for predicting side effects for novel therapies. In small molecule development and manufacturing, ML algorithms and automated solutions are implemented in retrosynthesis and synthetic route optimization, toxicological assessment of new chemical entities, and formulation design.
In addition, our Drug Products Services team has developed an AI image analysis tool that aids in the fast detection and classification of particles. There is a primary focus on detecting polysorbate degradation products, which are crucial for maintaining the stability of proteins to extend their shelf-life. This detection technology aims to deliver therapeutics of the highest quality by optimizing sub-visible particle imaging for formulation development.
Another application of digitalization lies in workflow automation. Digitally sustainable operations for managing laboratory work and documentation can facilitate a smooth transition from manual, paper-based documentation processes to a fully electronic system that meets regulatory requirements. Lonza’s MODA® Platform represents a comprehensive laboratory data and manufacturing management solution across multiple systems and scales. It has been implemented across selected areas of our manufacturing network to boost process efficiency and quality.
Head, Group Operations
In 2022, we delivered an extensive portfolio of growth projects across our operations, while navigating the challenges arising from continuing supply disruptions. We also built important foundations in key areas such as automation, supply chain and data management, as well as implementing a responsible sourcing program, to embed ethical, social, governance and environment-related principles in our procurement management processes and to support sustainability and decarbonization in our value chain.
There is a continuing need to balance immediate business needs with mid- to long-term strategic ambitions. We must also remain attentive and prepared to manage any challenges arising from the current macroeconomic conditions. Specifically, we anticipate possible future issues relating to material supply, rising inflation and potential energy shortages. To ensure business continuity and success, we are already allocating relevant resources to mitigate known risks, while remaining responsive to unforeseen eventualities.
Looking to 2023, we are focused on supporting the business in successfully delivering its strategic growth projects and maintaining a competitive advantage through operational excellence. We will also continue to strengthen our focus on sustainability across our operations. These ambitions are strongly supported by established Lean operating principles, which improve productivity and ensure we continue to deliver on our customers’ needs.
While standard monoclonal antibodies continue to dominate the mammalian pipeline, we are witnessing an uptake of new molecular formats into the global drug development pipeline. We continue to build on our established track record with biologics such as monoclonal antibodies. However, we are increasingly focused on developing and enhancing our strong capabilities in more complex biologics such as bispecific antibodies, bioconjugates and mRNA.
A major trend is the increased focus on bispecific antibodies which, unlike standard monoclonal antibodies, can recognize more than one antigen. In the past 20 years, almost 300 bispecific antibody-based drug candidates have entered the clinic. We support the development and manufacturing of these complex formats by leveraging more than 30 years of experience in supporting protein manufacture.
In the cell and gene therapy field, we see rapid growth in the area of in vivo therapy, where genetic material is delivered to target affected cells inside a patient’s body. Scalable manufacturing platforms are vital in supporting the timely and reliable supply of such therapies. We have been involved in developing manufacturing platforms for new vectors for these therapies, which aim to reduce immunogenicity and improve organ tropism. Alongside supporting novel vectors for gene therapies, we are also active in the field of exosome-based therapies. As a leader in this space, we have created a CDMO offering supporting this novel therapeutic platform, including manufacturing, purification and analytics.