Sanofi signing a strategic partnership with Lonza to establish a large-scale Biologics production facility


Sanofi and Lonza announced that they have entered into a strategic partnership to build and operate a large-scale mammalian cell culture facility for monoclonal antibody production in Visp, Switzerland.

The strategic partnership in the form of a joint venture combines the strong biologics development pipeline of Sanofi with the expertise of Lonza to design, construct, start-up and operate a state-of-the-art large-scale mammalian cell culture facility. The initial investment will be around CHF 290 million (€ 270 million), to be split equally between each company.

The initial phase of the facility will commence construction in 2017, pending necessary regulatory approvals, and is expected to be fully operational by 2020. Lonza has previously built and licensed three similar facilities in the U.S. and Singapore.

The strategic partnership enables Sanofi to react quickly to fluctuations in demand in a short timeframe, reinforcing their capability to launch high-quality, next generation biologic medicines and ensure consistent access for patients. It also provides Lonza with needed capacities to respond to growing manufacturing demands for large-scale mammalian cell culture based therapeutic proteins, therefore allowing Lonza to better serve its customers. By adding flexibility in this way, this model will help to optimize biologics production capacity across the whole industry.

Sanofi, a global healthcare leader, discovers, develops and distributes therapeutic solutions focused on patients’ needs. Sanofi is organized into five global business units: Diabetes and Cardiovascular, General Medicines and Emerging Markets, Sanofi Genzyme, Sanofi Pasteur and Consumer Healthcare.

Lonza is one of the world’s leading and most-trusted suppliers to the pharmaceutical, biotech and specialty ingredients markets. It harnesses science and technology to create products that support safer and healthier living and that enhance the overall quality of life.

Jones Day advised Sanofi on the deal with a team led by Paris-based Corporate associate Gael Saint Olive.

Involved fees earner: Gaël Saint Olive – Jones Day;

Law Firms: Jones Day;

Clients: Sanofi;