Global life science company Lonza Group Ltd plans to start large scale production of Antibody Drug Conjugates. This emerging class of product is utilized primarily in the treatment of cancer.
In contrast to other therapies, this antibody treatment promises more accurately targeted application possibilities, and as a result, increased effectiveness. The manufacture of Antibody Drug Conjugates involves coupling of a highly active chemical substance with a biotechnologically manufactured antibody.
Lonza’s activities in this technology area include investment in a new production unit and in supporting development and analytical laboratories, all to be located in Visp, Switzerland.
Construction of the commercial scale plant in Visp began in the last quarter of 2006. Stage I is expected to be on line in 2008. The plant will initially be capable of producing over 100 kg of antibody drug conjugates per year and future expansion plans are built into the design. Currently Lonza is operating laboratory scale production and will bring small scale pilot facilities on stream in 2007.
Uwe Bohlke, Head of Exclusive Synthesis of Lonza, commented: “With the investment in this new technology, Lonza will enter an emerging, high-growth business segment, which promises significant opportunities and potential. It is a perfect match with Lonza’s capabilities and technologies in both chemical and mammalian anti-body manufacture. We are delighted to be able to collaborate with the leading companies in this market.”