Lonza invests yet again, this time with a fill-finish line at new manufacturing site in Guangzhou, China

Lonza headquarters
It's been a busy year of investment for Swiss CDMO Lonza, including Monday's revelation of a new fill-finish line for its factory in Guangzhou, China. (Lonza)

Just months after opening a new plant in Guangzhou, China, Lonza is expanding its capacity.

Monday, the Swiss CDMO revealed that it is adding a new fill-finish line at the biologics manufacturing facility, which opened in the second quarter of this year. The addition is expected to be complete next year and will create more than 150 jobs. The amount of the investment was not disclosed.

Lonza said the move will establish the ability to produce drugs for clinical and commercial supply. The site offers both drug substance and product manufacturing capability.

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“This investment not only demonstrates our commitment to the Chinese market but also marks an important milestone in achieving our long-term ambition of increasing drug product capacity and addressing growing customer demand,” Hong Pan, general manager for Lonza China, said in a release.

Lonza revealed its move into Guangzhou in 2018, shortly after China loosened drug regulations in an attempt to meet demand for critical medicines. Lonza purchased an off-the-shelf facility from GE Healthcare, allowing for rapid construction. The 17,000-square-meter site includes 6,500 square meters of lab space as well as 1,000- and 2,000-liter bioreactors.

The company also has a factory in Nansha, China, which makes small-molecule APIs, and a plant in Suzhou, China, which provides drug capsules and microbial control solutions. 

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The expansion in China comes during a dizzying year of investment for Lonza, which is going all-in on mammalian cell culture manufacturing. In May, the company revealed that it is spending $935 million to build mammalian facilities at sites in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and Visp, Switzerland, which would add a combined 550 jobs.