Lonza has confirmed that its new cell and gene therapy manufacturing facility in Pearland, in the area of Houston, TX (USA), which started construction in May of 2016, is nearing completion and is on schedule to start production in Q1 2018, despite the storms that hit the state of Texas in late August and early September. The event organized around the opening of the facility has been moved into 2018 out of respect for the Lonza staff and people of Texas who were affected by the storm.
Lonza also confirmed that all employees are safe, despite damage to some of their homes and vehicles. In response, Lonza has pledged funds to disaster relief throughout Texas and is providing additional monetary support to affected employees.
“We want to acknowledge the Lonza team members who were able to make it onsite during the storm to ensure that our facilities were safe and that the projects that were in process kept going during these extraordinary events," said Ricardo Jimenez, Site Director, Lonza Houston Inc.
“The City of Pearland and its community have been great supporters of the life-science community, and now is the time to return that support. Lonza Houston remains committed to this community and knows that its perseverance and fortitude will accelerate the return to normalcy and further growth,” he added.
The state-of-the-art multi-purpose facility will include independent cGMP modular cleanrooms for up to 2,000 L-scale production in single-use bioreactors. Grade-B cleanrooms will also be constructed to continue the manufacture of cell therapy products.
Andreas Weiler, Ph.D, Head of Emerging Technologies for Lonza’s Pharma&Biotech segment, explained: "This facility will set a new standard in modular, mobile, flexible and disposable manufacturing capabilities available to cell and gene therapy customers. Additionally, the infrastructure will allow the facility’s activities to be ready to scale over time from the start of production."
With the initial 100,000-square-foot (9,290-square-meter) facility and the subsequent 150,000-square-foot (13,935-square-meter) expansion in progress, the Houston-area site for Lonza will be the largest in the world dedicated to cell and gene therapy development and manufacturing.
The facility will more than double Lonza’s capacity for the production of cell and gene therapeutics and will include a fully segregated fill/finish suite. The facility design is both U.S. and EU GMP-compliant and will showcase Lonza’s offering of single-use disposable platforms up to 2,000 L in volume.