Swiss CDMO giant Lonza is no stranger to Israel, but a recent investment has cemented a new hold on biotech in the region.
According to the company, Lonza and the Israel Biotech Fund, a venture capital fund investing in Israeli and Israel-related biotech companies, have announced a two-year framework agreement.
The agreement aims to provide accelerated timelines for the development and manufacturing of biologics and small molecules. Lonza will add support to the IBF by working to reduce risk and providing development and manufacturing services to IBF portfolio companies. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
The IBF will in turn provide Lonza with access to IBF’s portfolio companies and its extensive network in the biotechnology industry in Israel.
The agreement will seek to broaden the scope of services provided by Lonza to pharmaceutical companies in Israel’s biotech ecosystem.
Pnina Weitz, global head of venture capital business development and relationship management at Lonza, noted that despite Israel’s size, the country had more than 1,750 active life sciences companies at the end of the year. 2020, many of which are start-ups and small biotech companies.
“If these companies can retain investor interest and take their therapies to later stages, it can position them for acquisition or even commercialize their molecules themselves – an option more startups are choosing due to funding. increased,” Weitz said in an email to Terminal news.
Lonza isn’t the only big player to start working with the IBF. In 2021, Merck, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Teva and Amazon have partnered to launch a new incubator with the IBF for startups on the frontier between AI and drug development. Lonza has placed more resources in the country because, in 2018the CDMO has opened a 10,000 square foot laboratory in Haifa.
Indian drugmaker opens and updates multiple facilities across the world
Indian drugmaker Piramal Pharma Solutions has been busy in recent days.
First, a new production block went live at the company’s pharmaceuticals site in Pithampur, India last Tuesday.
The new production area can now handle batches of 150 to 600 kilograms, increasing the site’s capacity to produce drugs in OSD form. According to the company, the site was funded through an $11 million capital investment by Piramal.
The capacity of the Pithampur site has now increased from 3 billion doses to 4.5 billion doses and will employ around 600 people. The site will aim to supply pharmaceutical products to biotech and pharmaceutical companies around the world, and the site has been inspected by a host of regulatory agencies, including the FDA.
Now the manufacturer has also opened a new API factory in Aurora, Ontario, Canada. The new factory was built as part of a CAD 30 million ($23 million) capital investment at its Aurora site. The site has over 10,000 square feet of new manufacturing space and includes two new reactor suites with additional filtration and drying capabilities.
The site has also been inspected by regulatory bodies in the United States, United Kingdom and Japan.
Piramal has already been on a tear this year. In January, CDMO announced plans to invest millions to create a high-throughput screening facility to improve its in vitro biology capabilities at its drug discovery site in Ahmedabad, India. The new extension is expected to go live in the third quarter of this year.