CDMO giant Lonza debuts world’s biggest gene and cell therapy manufacturing plant

Swiss CDMO Lonza opened the world’s biggest manufacturing plant in the Houston area that will produce customized viruses for use in cell and gene therapies. (Lonza)

Swiss CDMO giant Lonza opened what it touts as the world’s biggest manufacturing plant for producing customized viruses for use in cell and gene therapies targeting rare genetic disorders or life-threatening diseases.

Located in Pearland, Greater Houston, Texas, the 300,000-square-foot facility is the largest dedicated cell-and-gene-therapy manufacturing facility in the world, the company said. The site is expected to employ 200 by the end of the year.

The plant offers state-of-the-art, fully integrated access to some of the cutting-edge cell-and-gene-therapy manufacturing technologies. The facility is seen by Lonza as a center of excellence for cell-and-gene-therapy process development from concept through preclinical, clinical and commercialization.

“The site is well positioned to meet the demands of the growing cell-and-gene-therapy field,” Mark Funk, COO for Lonza’s pharma and biotech, said in a statement. “Combining this leading-edge facility with our unmatched experience and expertise in cell and gene therapy will allow us to provide a key advantage to biopharmaceutical companies and academic researchers and ultimately to the patients they serve.”

Lonza has forecast it will generate about $7.9 billion in annual revenues by 2022, strengthened by the purchase of Capsugel in late 2016. The blockbuster $5.5 billion deal for Capsugel, which was a U.S.-based contract capsule and drug producer, closed last year.