Lonza to build new viral therapy facility in Houston


The new GMP facility is expected to develop and manufacture both viral gene therapies and virally modified cell therapies

Lonza has announced plans to expand its viral gene therapy business with the construction of a new 100,000ft2 facility for viral and immunotherapy development and manufacturing in Houston, Texas, US, complete with a fully segregated fill/finish suite. This new facility will more than double Lonza’s capacity for the production of viral gene and virally modified therapeutics.

The state-of-the-art multi-purpose facility is expected to come on-line in the first half of 2017 and will include eight independent cGMP modular cleanrooms for 2,000 L-scale production in single-use bioreactors. Grade-B cleanrooms will also be constructed to continue the manufacture of EMA-regulated cell therapy products. The site master plan includes expanded process development and quality-control areas, shell space for future additional cleanrooms, and land for further potential expansions.

'The clinical landscape for targeted gene therapies continues to grow at a steady rate with new advancements in cancer immunotherapies and cardiovascular disease,' said Dr Andreas Weiler, Head of Emerging Technologies for Lonza’s Pharma&Biotech segment. 'This investment will allow Lonza to be well positioned to meet the demands of this growing market and to remain at the forefront of the viral gene therapy industry.

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'Our viral team has more than 20 years of experience in viral vector gene therapy that, when combined with our newly constructed leading edge facility, will provide a key advantage to our customers and ultimately to their patients.'