Lonza and Sartorius Stedim Biotech enter cell culture media collaboration

Lonza will handle manufacturing while SSB will assume global sales and marketing

Lonza has signed a long-term global collaboration, supply and distribution agreement with Sartorius Stedim Biotech (SSB) in the field of cell culture media.

Under the agreement SSB will assume global sales and marketing of Lonza’s media and buffers used in the manufacture of protein-based therapeutics and vaccines, while Lonza will continue to carry out development, manufacture and logistics operations for these products. New product development will be a joint effort. The cell culture media, which are usually sold in liquid or powder form, will be successively converted to packaged forms as ready-to-use, prefilled SSB sterile single-use bags.

The two companies have agreed that these cell culture media will be sold under both brands in a co-branding arrangement.

Lonza will maintain commercial responsibility for global sales and marketing of media used for research purposes and in the manufacture of cell-based therapeutics and gene therapy as well as manufacturing for any of Lonza’s custom manufacturing customers.

Lonza and Sartorius are a great fit as both partners bring complementary strengths to the benefit of our customers

In fiscal 2011, Lonza generated revenue of around €20m with its cell culture media business. SSB will take over Lonza’s commercial team of approximately 15 media specialists.

No further details have been disclosed.

Lonza says its cell culture media are an ideal fit with the portfolio of products supplied by SSB, which already offers bioreactors and single-use bags and containers as key components for cell cultivation.

‘For Lonza this agreement provides great upside potential as it will allow us to capture additional value from our Media Business in the form of additional revenue leading to higher capacity utilisation,’ said Lukas Utiger, COO of Lonza Bioscience.

‘Lonza and Sartorius are a great fit as both partners bring complementary strengths to the benefit of our customers.’

Reinhard Vogt, a board director of SSB, added: ‘I am very pleased that we will now be adding a market-leading, high-quality array of media and buffers to our product offering.

‘Just like our single-use bags and bioreactors, culture media are critical to the success of safe and efficient manufacture of drug materials. The demand for ready-to-use and innovative products is accordingly high. In the manufacture of biologicals, our customers will benefit from obtaining fully integrated single-use solutions for their entire cell culture process all from a single source.’

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