Lonza unveils major investment project in Valais

Global biopharma leader Lonza has launched Ibex, an innovative modular facility in biological development and manufacturing. Based at Lonza’s Visp site, it will create several hundred new jobs over the coming years.

New Lonza site in Visp
Ibex™, a campus of five biological development and manufacturing complexes, will be based at Lonza’s Visp site. © Lonza AG

The path to market of a modern medicine is often very complex. Biopharma companies face growing pressure from regulators and competitors, as well as unpredictable market demand. To overcome these challenges, Lonza is building Ibex™, a campus of five manufacturing complexes that provides biopharma customers with agile capability at every stage of development and manufacture. Ibex™ solutions are technology-independent, highly flexible and capable of supporting activities across multiple technologies – mammalian, microbial, cellular or bio-conjugate – and from late discovery to development and commercial manufacturing. Thanks to this innovative concept, Lonza’s customers will see their products’ time-to-market reduced by 12 months or more, according to a press release.

Leveraging Lonza's expertise and service network in Visp

The Ibex™ biomanufacturing complex will be integrated into Lonza’s Visp site, in the canton of Valais. It will occupy a brownfield surface of 100,000 m2 – the equivalent of 10 football pitches – and create several hundred new positions. The construction of two of the five buildings began last June. One of them will house a large-scale mammalian cell culture facility for monoclonal antibody production, built and operated in partnership with French drugmaker Sanofi. With 2,700 experienced employees and well established service networks, the plant in Visp is Lonza’s largest site and one of the most significant for production and R&D.

A game changer

Lonza, which counts more than 40 major manufacturing and R&D facilities and approximately 10,000 full-time employees worldwide, has over a century of experience in connecting biotech expertise with fine chemical know-how. “We are continuing to pioneer clinical and commercial manufacturing in multiple technologies all over the world”, said Lonza’s Pharma & Biotech COO, Marc Funk. “We have been working with our partners to understand what we can offer that will really change the game for them, and that’s why we have created Ibex™.”

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