21 July 2003 00:00 [Source: ICB Americas]Lonza Group has reached a long-term supply agreement under which it will
The deal with Lonza Biotec is the first third-party production contract involving the new Visp facility. The plant will comprise a fermenter unit of 1,000 liters, due to come on stream by the end of this year, and a fermenter of 15,000 liters, scheduled to start up in 2005.
Under the agreement, which stretches from 2004 to 2010, Lonza Biotec will provide technology transfer, scale-up, cGMP manufacturing and quality-control testing services.
|Lonza's new microbial biopharmaceutical |
plant in Visp, Switzerland.
Celltech has developed proprietary technology for the production of very high affinity antibody fragments in a microbial fermentation system. The fragments are chemically modified using polyethylene glycol (PEG) to provide a long-circulating half-life in patients.
The drugs in Celltech's pipeline that use the technology include a rheumatoid arthritis treatment being developed with Pfizer Inc. That product is in a Phase III clinical trial.
"Lonza has considerable experience in the production of biologicals, built up over a number of years," says Goeran Ando, Celltech's chief executive. "We are pleased to have extended our relationship with them into microbial production of our antibody fragmented-based products."
Under a separate agreement, Celltech is paying Lonza a penalty after terminating a supply agreement for the production of an antiTNF-alpha antibody at Lonza's mammalian cell culture facility in Slough, southern England. Provision for the payment was made in Celltech's accounts last year.
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