Demonstrating a Spirit of Innovation
At Lonza we understand that innovation is the lifeblood of our businesses and a major reason why customers are attracted to us. Our innovative spirit is alive all throughout Lonza. We celebrate and reward employees and teams who excel at innovation, whether these efforts involve new product developments, operational excellence breakthroughs or error prevention tools and methods in the realms of quality and safety. We recognize that keeping our pipelines full with innovative products and services that meet customers’ emerging and unmet needs requires a disciplined «Innovation Project Management» (IPM) approach. As part of this process, we begin with a vigorous evaluation of innovation projects through an integrated approach that involves business and marketing leaders, technology reviews and a financial overview to determine whether the project is worthy of investment.
The first principle of our IPM philosophy is that a project must be customer focused and satisfy must-have needs. And to ensure that the project remains on target, we require frequent contacts with customers, other marketplace and our own research & development (R&D) experts so that we can fine-tune the project to respond to any new customer concerns or ideas.
Once innovation projects are selected for further investment, dedicated cross-functional teams work to execute the projects, to track their progress against critical milestones and to otherwise manage and optimize the innovation portfolio in order to deliver the expected results and strategic goals. This vital teamwork is overseen on a regular basis by segment and business unit innovation leadership councils, which include key business portfolio managers and process owners, as well as technical subject matter experts from R&D, Operations and IT, following our Go-to-Market Excellence (G2ME) Innovation Management processes.
Pharma & Biotech Innovations
Our Pharma & Biotech segment is recognized as an innovative leader among contract development and manufacturing organizations (CDMOs) worldwide. We continue to pioneer advanced technologies that are enabling our customers to develop breakthrough treatments and cures for challenging diseases.
Modern medicines are becoming increasingly complex – from their molecular structure and the handling they require, to their formulation and delivery systems. In addition, a dynamic regulatory environment means that customers choose to work with Lonza to gain access to expertise across technologies and to de-risk their path to market.
Research & development (R&D) and innovation projects are ongoing to increase efficiencies across all modalities, with a sharp focus on accelerating cell-line construction and offerings in drug product services, as well as digitalizing biological upstream and downstream manufacturing. Automation is a clear priority across all our operations, with the in-house experience in more-established areas of the business, such as small molecules and mammalian manufacturing, serving as a solid base for industrializing cell and gene technology.
Toward the end of 2018, Lonza Pharma & Biotech officially opened the Collaborative Innovation Center in the Haifa Life Science Park in Israel – a nation that has established itself as a point of convergence for digital technologies, engineering and life sciences. The collaborative Innovation Center labs, together with Lonza funding and in-house expertise, will enable biologics development and manufacturing projects in collaboration with Israeli talents in academia, medical institutions and early-stage innovative companies.
Innovating Breakthrough Therapies
Lonza Pharma & Biotech’s R&D work is one of the key pillars to position the segment as a partner of choice for the pharma and biotech industries. Our innovative spirit is captured in the brand description of Lonza Pharma & Biotech – Delivering the Medicines of Tomorrow, Today®.
Throughout 2018 we applied our inventive mindset to address the development and manufacturing needs of the increasing number of medicines that are obtaining breakthrough-therapy designation and other accelerated-approval pathways.
Due to the fast timelines, these molecules require innovative regulatory, development and project-planning solutions. These requirements were key drivers for launching our Ibex™ Design offering for antibody therapies that will deliver drug product based on at least 1 kg drug substance within 12 months. Another trend in many accelerated-pathway therapies is their increasing complexity, and this diversity throws up challenges for manufacturing – proteins become harder to express and small molecules more potent. In 2018 we launched new solutions for manufacturing these innovative formats, including for the expression of bispecific antibodies and increased capacity for antibody drug conjugate (ADC) payloads.
Innovating Along the Integrated Value Chain
One valuable offering for our biopharma customers is our ability to provide them comprehensive, one-stop technologies and services that cover development through scale-up testing, clinical trials and commercial manufacturing. We further strengthened this competitive advantage in 2018 when we announced a CHF 400 million investment into our Visp (CH) biopark to expand our Ibex™ Solutions offerings. The expansion includes drug substance development, drug substance and drug product manufacturing, including fill and finish, which allows customers to manage the complete product lifecycle through one site.
Capitalizing on the drug delivery and dosage technologies brought to us by our 2017 acquisition of Capsugel, we can now offer customers tailored formulation and delivery solutions for every stage of the drug-development process. Our offerings have evolved to provide an integrated approach from active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) to finished dosage form and from point of concept to commercialization, which results in a significant reduction in the complexity of drug programs.
For further information, visit one of the following pages:
Innovating to Increase Potency and Efficacy
Several key approvals in highly potent active pharmaceutical ingredients (HPAPIs) in 2018 reflect the trend of increasing numbers of low-dose /highly potent applications. With our expertise and investments in capacity for HPAPIs, as well as with the isolation capabilities we have available across all of our drug delivery technologies, we are strongly aligned to support this trend. In our collaboration with Clovis Oncology, we are moving toward real-time release testing of APIs, a first in the pharmaceutical contract development manufacturing organization (CDMO) industry. This process requires close collaboration with customers and regulators.
Increasing complexity in biologics not only requires fresh solutions for expressing new formats of antibodies, including bispecifics and antibody drug conjugates (ADCs), but also a flexible asset network as volumes decrease for some products. In 2018 we announced expansion in single-use, small-scale capacity, and the launch of mid-scale assets with 6,000 L bioreactors.
As this new generation of highly potent, more-effective therapies move to commercialization, Lonza is able to offer customized solutions based on the best expertise, technology and assets.
Innovating Autologous Technologies
Innovation in the field of cell and gene technologies is transforming the way that patients with cancers and genetic disorders are treated – or possibly even cured. At the forefront of this revolution are autologous therapies, in which cells from a specific patient are extracted, processed ex vivo and then returned to the patient as therapeutic medicines. Given the small-batch, patient-specific nature of this approach, large-scale production with its cost efficiencies does not apply.
For this reason it is critical to challenge the paradigm for manufacturing autologous cell therapies. Lonza is a leader in research & development (R&D) in this field through an extensive internal program and the 2018 acquisition of a controlling stake in Octane Biotech, with which we have been developing the Cocoon™ system.
« The acquisition of a controlling stake in Octane Biotech is a clear message to the market that we are committed to making commercially viable and scalable personalized therapies a reality. »
Marc Funk, COO of Lonza Pharma & Biotech
This disruptive and innovative technology is based on an automated cGMP-in-a-box concept for autologous cell and gene therapy manufacturing. Following the intensive joint-development program that has been running since 2015 with Octane Biotech, the Cocoon™ system now incorporates the majority of unit operations needed for scalable end-to-end manufacturing of cell therapies including Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSC) and Chimeric Antigen Receptor T cells (CAR-T cells). For further information visit our cell and gene technology webpage.
Specialty Ingredients Innovations
Lonza’s research & technology teams in Specialty Ingredients focus on innovation in anticipation of evolving needs and changes in the marketplace. The focus is clearly on our health and well-being solutions in nutritional supplements, functional food and personal care and on our microbial-control solutions in consumer product preservation, household and institutional hygiene and coatings for different surfaces. Research & technology (R&T) – as we call our colleagues in Specialty Ingredients due to a strong focus on technological advances including formulation & application technologies, automation and digitalization– is working on upscaling and manufacturing of proprietary innovative technology to best serve our customers in health & well-being and microbial control while further optimizing our manufacturing capabilities and processes.
Innovating in Nutritional Ingredients and Functional Food
Innovation in the nutritional ingredients and functional food markets needs to address consumers’ demands for active living, anti-aging, clean-label and preventive health products with indications for immune, digestive or joint health.
Lonza’s consumer health and nutrition businesses are a market leader in the field of nutraceuticals and other innovative nutritional ingredients and functional foods. Our two leading actives – UC-II® ingredient for joint health and Carnipure® ingredient for sports nutrition – are benefiting from high demand.
With the addition of the Capsugel® tailored dosage-delivery systems, we are capitalizing by offering customers a pipeline of innovative, synergistic solutions – such as the introduction of more than 30 dietary supplement product concepts that combine Lonza’s specialty ingredients and innovative dosage forms. Our innovations include clean label, animal-free Vcaps® Plus capsules or Vcaps® Plus natural colored capsules.
Utilizing various international conference and exhibition platforms, Lonza featured our latest ingredients, delivery systems and finished product formulations for the nutraceuticals industry. This approach included the launch of consumer health and nutrition’s patented UC-II® joint-health ingredient to the European market. Backed by clinical studies, our high-quality undenatured type II collagen product has been shown to support optimal joint health at low dosages by improving comfort, mobility and flexibility.
New formulations introduced during the year paired Lonza’s Carnipure® ingredient – proven to be beneficial for sports recovery by helping to reduce tissue damage and muscle soreness – with the Capsugel® Licaps® cutting-edge liquid-filled capsules. Also featured were new products that include probiotics combinations, for exercise and weight-management benefits, as well as a concept with vitamin B12 and choline to aid exercise recovery and treat fatigue. To meet increasing customer demand, we broke ground in late 2018 to expand manufacturing operations in Lonza’s Greenwood, SC (USA) site to enhance production of our specialty ingredients and dosage form technologies. This investment demonstrates Lonza’s continued commitment to be an integrated, end-to-end solutions provider and at the forefront of innovation in technologies and offerings.
Innovating in Personal Care
Our innovation in personal care addresses active living and anti-aging. Lonza has long been a pioneer of innovative cosmetic and personal-care products that help people look and feel their best. We added to this track record with the recent launch of a bioactive functional ingredient that helps protect skin against the visible effects of environmental stressors such as blue light from cell phones and other devices, UV light and pollution. In fact, our ScreenLight™ Block received the ITEHPEC Innovation Award Finalist Recognition for the best bioactive functional at the in-Cosmetics Latin America trade show in 2018.
At the in-Cosmetics Tradeshow in Asia, Lonza launched our XPressEV™ bioactive functional ingredient for the appearance of firmer, fitter skin. This product helps combat the effects of chronological aging. Called an evolution for personal care in skin-surface architecture because it works within the skin layers targeting the dermis and the dermal-epidermal junction, XPressEV™ bioactive is especially relevant for Asian consumers.
Innovating in Microbial Control Solutions
A growing health-risk awareness increases demand for innovative safe and sustainable hygiene and microbial-control solutions for infection control, clean-label preservation, a safe and healthy living environment and a sustainable use of resources.
In the areas of hygiene and disinfection, Lonza offers industry-leading innovative blends of anti-microbial ingredients that provide safe and effective protection against bacteria, molds and other contaminants while at the same time, our compounds satisfy increasingly strict global regulations. In fact, Lonza’s extensive portfolio of approved actives is a major competitive advantage when traditional biocides such as methylisothiazolinone (MIT)-free are being more strictly regulated due to health and environmental concerns.
To satisfy this increasing global market demand for biocide formulations free of MIT, Lonza recently expanded the Proxel® range of preservatives into the North American market. Proxel Spektra™ Preservative is a dual-active, broad-spectrum preservative that offers effective preservation of industrial products against spoilage caused by bacteria, yeast and mold. This formulation benefits customers as it uses two complementary active ingredients, providing enhanced antimicrobial efficacy and long-term protection.
Modern Paths to Innovation: Collaboration and Start-up Funding
To accelerate the development of innovative new products in the consumer health and well-being marketplace in 2018, Lonza launched a venture capital fund to back emerging consumer-health companies in North America. In partnership with Prolog Ventures, the Prolog Lonza Consumer Fund will focus on products, technologies and innovative business models related to fast-moving consumer goods markets, such as personal care, functional foods and beverages, medical food, dietary supplements and home care.
The emphasis is on products that maintain, protect or preserve the health and well-being of people and companion animals around the world through proprietary ingredients, formulations and delivery technologies.
The newly created fund offers value beyond financial support by leveraging Lonza’s global resources and expertise to accelerate the growth of the fund’s portfolio companies – many of which are located on America’s West Coast, which is a locus of disruptive companies in everything from information technology to medicines and consumer health.
« The establishment of a Venture Capital fund demonstrates Lonza’s commitment to innovating along the value chain and to creating additional value for our customers with new technologies and integrated solution. »
Sven Abend, COO of Lonza Specialty Ingredients