Lonza set to manufacture coronavirus drug for Humanigen

The Basel-based pharmaceutical supplier Lonza is supporting the US firm Humanigen in the development of a potential coronavirus therapeutic. Lonza is also cooperating with the biotech company Moderna on the development of a promising coronavirus vaccine.

Lonza headquarter in Basel.
Lonza headquarter in Basel. Image Credit: Lonza

Lonza has secured a contract from the US cancer and infection specialists Humanigen, a press release reveals. Together, the two companies are planning to expand production capacities to manufacture the product candidate lenzilumab.

The drug developed by Humanigen is currently being tested in terms of its suitability to treat the coronavirus. According to information in the press release, it could receive an Emergency Use Authorization before the end of this year. Humanigen is keen to start commercial production activities of the drug at Lonza production facilities in 2021.

“We are ramping up our manufacturing efforts for lenzilumab, our lead drug candidate, and this collaboration with Lonza, a global manufacturing leader with expertise in technology transfer and an established track record of working with regulatory bodies for approved and commercialized products, comes at a crucial time to meet production demand for COVID-19 therapeutics this winter.”, comments Cameron Durrant, CEO of Humanigen, in the press release.

Humanigen is not the first company to make use of Lonza’s expertise in the production of a potential coronavirus therapeutic. Moderna is also working together with Lonza on the development of its coronavirus vaccine candidate. The US biotech company recently established a Swiss subsidiary, which is located close to Lonza in Basel.

The vaccine candidate from Moderna is regarded as particularly promising. The Swiss government has already signed a contract with Moderna allowing it to acquire 4.5 million doses, provided of course that the vaccine candidate is awarded authorization for the Swiss market.

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