December 12, 2018

These 17,000 meters of land in China will house advanced labs and manufacturing for future therapeutics

By GE Healthcare Life Sciences

Lonza to open KUBio biomanufacturing facility in Guangzhou to more efficiently deliver services and manufacture of more targeted treatments to market.


In a sprawling port city northwest of Hong Kong on the Pearl River, in a previously untouched section of land, sits a huge construction zone that will become a buzzing center of scientists creating services and manufacturing for more targeted treatments.

Currently, nine of the top 12 selling drugs are biologics, which represent half of the industry’s late-stage drug research portfolios according to industry research and the annual reports of top 15 R&D companies. (Source: Biopharm international)

The demand for biologics is heightened in China, where about 4.3 million new cancer cases were reported in 2015. Biologics are used to treat diseases like cancer, autoimmune and chronic diseases. China’s baby boom in the late 70s means that its enormous population is facing potential health issues on a scale never seen before.

Making the drugs more accessible could be a game-changer for healthcare providers and patients in China.

Now, Lonza, one of the world’s leading suppliers to the biopharmaceutical industry plans to meet this challenge, announcing plans to open a manufacturing facility in China dedicated to biologic drugs.

By 2020, Lonza expects to be provide development services and the manufacture of biopharmaceuticals on the 17,000 m2 site, which will contain 6500 m2 of lab space and a GE Healthcare -factory-in-box’ solution, KUBio based on single-use technologies, including 1,000- and 2,000-liter bioreactors.

The 17,000m2 site in Guangzhou, China will include 6,500m2 of lab space and one KUBio factory-in-a-box facility.

GE Healthcare’s KUBio will enable small-scale GMP manufacturing equipped with GE Healthcare’s single-use biomanufacturing technologies combined with Lonza’s automation platforms for clinical and early-commercial

The 17,000m2 site in Guangzhou, China will include 6,500m2 of lab space and one KUBio factory-in-a-box facility

Lonza had no previous biologics presence in China and found that working with GE Healthcare will give them a leg up on speed to market. Marc Funk, COO Lonza Pharma & Biotech, said: “The combination of a strong and experienced technology provider with a long history in China, together with a dynamic regional authority, means that we can rapidly offer services to customers and ultimately get innovative therapies to patients more quickly.”

The modular and prefabricated KUBio manufacturing solution based on single-use bioprocessing technology provides flexibility and it can be up and running in 18 months, whereas a typical, stainless steel biologics factory can take years to build and to get the production running.

Lonza joins BeiGene, a commercial-stage biotechnology company focused on developing and commercializing innovative molecularly-targeted and immuno-oncology drugs for the treatment of cancer, on the Guangzhou site, Pfizer, which broke ground in Hangzhou, and JHL Biotech in Wuhan, China.