Group Operations


As a preferred global partner to the pharmaceutical, biotech and nutrition markets, we harness scientific innovation and manufacturing technology to enable our customers to serve their patients and consumers.

Our business is structured across four divisions: Biologics, Small Molecules, Cell & Gene and Capsules & Health Ingredients. Our services and products span from supporting early-phase discovery to custom development and manufacturing of active pharmaceutical ingredients, as well as innovative dosage forms for the pharma, consumer health and nutrition industries. Our scale and resources mean that we can provide a single integrated solution to meet our customers’ complex needs.

Driving Operational Excellence

We take a systematic approach to improving efficiency and reducing waste as part of our Lean program. In 2022, we introduced our Lean principles with fundamental operational and behavioral components across our manufacturing organization. By 2023, our scope broadened to include all corporate functions.

Over the course of 2023, we extended our program to deliver more tangible outcomes while maintaining our existing focus on cultural and behavioral elements. We streamlined our processes, optimized resources and enhanced overall productivity while maintaining customer value. This involved a comprehensive approach that went beyond basic Lean principles, including the following key components:

  • Continuous Improvement  
    We have organized a series of events, which have focused on embedding a mindset of continuous improvement and value creation. These involve cross-functional teams collaborating to tackle issues, minimize inefficiencies and enhance processes. We are also conducting rigorous and robust analyses of our value streams, identifying all processes and activities that contribute to product or service delivery.
  • Employee Engagement
    We have introduced new ways of working that encourage employees at all levels to suggest and implement efficiency improvements. We have more than 400 programs recorded in our Innovation Tracker to generate additional value and conserve valuable business resources.
  • Digitization and Automation
    We are actively adopting technology and automation to streamline operations, decrease manual involvement and improve data-driven decision making. This includes implementing Virtual Reality training, robotics, real-time data analytics and advanced modeling tools.
  • Supplier Collaboration
    We are engaging in close collaboration with our suppliers to optimize the value of our supply chain and enhance the quality of inputs.
  • Sustainability Focus
    Our sustainability objectives are integrated into our Lean journey, with the aim of simultaneously managing our environmental footprint while improving our operational outputs.
  • Continuous Training and Education
    We remain fully committed to delivering strong employee training and education to ensure our people remain equipped to deploy the latest Lean methodologies and best practices. Over the last two years, we have successfully achieved a Lean fundamentals training level of more than 50% across the organization, spanning from basic to advanced Lean skillsets.

Personal Highlight

Maria Soler Nunez

Head, Group Operations

Across our site network, we deliver value for our customers through our combined focus on quality, safety and operational excellence.

Executing our Strategic Growth Projects 

From conception to launch, we have a robust management process in place to ensure the successful delivery of our growth projects. The strategic selection of programs is based on meeting the current and future needs of our customers and our own selection criteria. Considerations include strategic relevance, commercial rationale, feasibility, and return on investment. This approach allows us to remain confident in our capability to create long-term value for our business.

From design to execution, our standardized approach allows us to bring efficiency at each stage of the process. The technical solutions and business case are refined at each stage with clear metrics agreed, prior to approval for investment. Progress monitoring throughout each stage allows for early issue detection and mitigation as well as ensuring execution remains on track and on budget.

At the start of each project, we select a dedicated end-to-end lead supported by a multifunction team. We track individual projects closely through steering committees and monitor the portfolio of all projects. This close monitoring is overseen at structured intervals by both the Executive Committee and Board of Directors, and learnings are incorporated into the program on a continuing basis.

Growth Projects in Action: The Visp (CH) Ibex® Biopark

As part of our ongoing commitment to constant innovation, we launched a new biological development and manufacturing concept in Visp, in 2017. The Ibex® Biopark is a flexible, modular, development and manufacturing complex capable of supporting activities across multiple technologies and business models (including customer dedicated or multi-purpose).

The concept of these manufacturing complexes involves preinvestment in the shell building, which then enables a fast fit-out and the ability to leverage pre-existing infrastructure.

In the case of dedicated assets, customers have complete freedom in the facility design and implementation. Contracts are designed to take the project specific objective and risk into account, through re-purposing or ramp-down fees. For multipurpose assets, this model gives us the opportunity to de-risk our investment by securing anchor customers.

The first two facilities became ready for fit-out in 2019 and we have seen significant progress since then, with two further buildings completed in 2023. A total of five facilities currently host a range of modalities including:

  • a large-scale mammalian cell culture facility through a joint venture with Sanofi
  • a mid-scale facility for microbial development
  • end-to-end capabilities for antibody-drug conjugate manufacturing
  • facilities for commercial mRNA manufacturing, where we delivered the drug substance for a COVID-19 vaccine. Given the Moderna termination, it is currently being re-purposed to another modality. The cost for re-purposing is covered by termination and de-commissioning fees
  • a drug product filling service
  • a dedicated microbiome facility for Bacthera, our joint venture with Chr. Hansen (now Novonesis)

With a substantial proportion of capacity allocated to customers before it comes online, our model allows us to meet customer needs and manage risk, while ensuring we are set up to deliver long-term success.