Sanofi, Lonza Collaborate to Set up Large-scale Biologics Production Unit

Sanofi and Lonza have entered into a strategic partnership to build and operate a large-scale mammalian cell culture facility for monoclonal antibody production in Visp, Switzerland. The strategic partnership in the form of a joint venture 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 large-scale mammalian cell culture facility. The initial investment will be around CHF 290 million (€270 million), to be split equally between each company.

The initial phase of the facility will commence construction in 2017, pending necessary regulatory approvals, and is expected to be fully operational by 2020. Lonza has previously built and licensed three similar facilities in the US and Singapore.

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 operation of the facility.