Cell and Gene Therapy Manufacturing Facility

Lonza Houston Inc. Location: Pearland, Texas Square Footage: 300,000 Construction Cost: $60 million
The Lonza Houston Inc. cell and viral gene therapy manufacturing facility project stemmed from intent to move clinical operations out of a location that could no longer support the anticipated operational growth. The first-of-its-kind, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility with capacity to produce treatment for thousands of patients suffering from rare genetic disorders or life-threatening diseases is the largest dedicated cell and gene therapy manufacturing facility in the world.

After having embarked on the design of a 170,000-square-foot greenfield space to house the viral-based cell therapeutics manufacturing operation, the need to add a commercial manufacturing area required an additional 130,000 square feet to support both viral cell therapy and batch viral suites. While the clinical and commercial operations share the site, operations and flow were designed to be complementary.

Both clinical and commercial aspects of the facility made use of modular-style clean-room suites with capacity for up to 2000-liter production in single-use bioreactors. The 300,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facility is located on an 11-acre site in Pearland’s Lower Kirby District. The clean rooms were designed to manufacture the cell therapy and viral gene therapy products to meet the growing demand for the products in the U.S. and European markets. The facility doubled the company’s former capacity for the production of viral gene and virally modified therapeutics to create products with the intent of safer and healthier living.

"Lonza Houston will serve as a center of excellence for cell and gene therapy process development from concept through preclinical, clinical and commercialization, all the way to the patient," Andreas Weiler, business unit head for emerging technologies at Lonza Pharma & Biotech, says. "This facility has the potential to produce treatment for thousands of patients suffering from rare genetic disorders or life-threatening diseases, under one roof. It will set a new standard in biopharmaceutical manufacturing and stand as one of four centers of excellence in cell and gene therapy in the only global network spanning three continents. Outstanding teams of top experts from around the world are gathered here and are empowered to elaborate on innovative concepts, develop and optimize complex processes and seamlessly deliver cell and gene therapies that adhere to the industry’s Current Good Manufacturing Practice standards."

Award: 2018 ENR Texas and Louisiana Best Regional Project for Manufacturing
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