- The Swiss manufacturer Lonza said it has enlisted cold chain specialist Cryoport as its preferred partner in transporting and delivering patient tissues globally, as it works to provide a seamless "vein-to-vein" network in cell and gene therapy.
- The deal builds on a partnership Lonza recently announced with Vineti, which offers patient tissue tracking as well.
- The latest agreement covers the Cryoportal logistics management platform, SmartPak II Condition Monitoring System and Cryoport's Chain of Compliance system, the companies said in a Nov. 5 statement.
Lonza is betting big on the future of gene and cell therapy and trying to offer customers an end-to-end solution to meet the complex challenges that come with the field.
Every stage of cell therapy, from patient apheresis through transport, genetic engineering and reinfusion comes with critical requirements for temperature control, speed and chain of identity.
Cryoport operates in more than 100 countries and supports more than 413 clinical trials. Notably, the company also supports three approved therapies: Gilead's Yescarta (axicabtagene ciloleucel), Novartis' Kymriah (tisagenlecleucel) and Bluebird bio's Zynteglo.
Demand for specialized manufacturing and distribution services is growing as researchers figure out new ways to manipulate cells so they can fight cancer and other diseases, Cryoport CEO Jerrell Shelton said in the statement. Cryoport's temperature-controlled supply chain systems fit well with Lonza's manufacturing services, he added.
For Lonza, cell and gene therapies are a new focus, part of a broader turn to the pharmaceutical side of the contract manufacturer's business.
In April 2018, the Swiss CDMO opened the doors to a 300,000 square-foot plant in Texas dedicated to producing the complex treatments.
CEO Marc Funk told BioPharma Dive in an interview earlier this year that Lonza has now worked with over 45 customers seeking supply of viral vectors, which are used to deliver gene therapies.