For Immediate Release
September 29, 2016
Director of Marketing
Pearland Economic Development Corporation
Greater Houston Partnership
International Biotech Firm Lonza Plans Major Expansion in the Region
HOUSTON –With the Houston region’s status as a hub for life sciences and home to the world’s largest medical complex, the Swiss pharmaceutical and biotech company Lonza announced plans to add approximately an additional 150,000-square-foot expansion intended to produce commercial quantities of viral gene and cell therapies. This expansion adds to its facility currently under construction in Pearland. The final facility size will total over 250,000-square feet and be designed to accommodate the growth in demand for cutting-edge biotech therapies.
The Pearland facility is part of a game-changing trend in the healthcare industry towards personalized medicine through technologies such as cell and gene therapy. Lonza works in collaboration with biotechnology companies around the world some of which are based in Houston, to develop these novel therapies and help make them a reality for patients.
Lonza broke ground on the initial phase of this project, a 100,000+ square-foot clinical manufacturing and R&D facility in Pearland’s Lower Kirby District, in March. With an estimated opening date in late 2017, the company will initially employ over 100 area residents with plans to employ up to several hundred scientists, engineers, and biotech professionals over the next ten years. The Pearland location includes offices, laboratories, and cleanroom manufacturing space that will allow Lonza to more than double the production of its current viral gene and virally-modified cell therapeutics which it produces under contract for its customers.
“Lonza is committed to building up our cell and gene therapy capabilities in Pearland, which is a growing center for life sciences,” said Marc Funk, COO, Lonza’s Pharma & Biotech Segment. “The Houston area, supported by a number of world-class scientific institutions, is an important location for Lonza to continue to develop novel therapies offering the hope of improving the lives of patients all over the world.”
The expansion was part of a collaborative effort between Pearland Economic Development Corporation
, the City of Pearland
, and the Greater Houston Partnership
Pearland Mayor Tom Reid stated: “Lonza’s decision to further invest in Pearland is the greatest compliment a company can extend to a community. We thank the management of Lonza Houston for their continued investment in Pearland’s Lower Kirby District and wish the entire Lonza team continued success both in our community and across the globe.”
“Lonza’s new facility strengthens our region’s reputation as a world leader in life sciences,” said Partnership President & CEO Bob Harvey. “The Houston region and Texas are well positioned to help Lonza leverage our region’s intellectual and physical assets to expand its manufacturing, research and development capabilities and access global markets.”
The Houston area has more than 130 cutting-edge hospitals and health clinics, and some of the country’s top research facilities. Pearland’s Lower Kirby District is home to multiple life science companies including Merit Medical’s R&D and manufacturing facility and Cardiovascular Systems, Inc.’s medical device manufacturing facility. Texas ranked as the fourth strongest state in biotechnology growth potential. The Texas bioscience industry reported 81,000 jobs in 2014 across 4,865 businesses, according to a recent study by the Texas Healthcare & Bioscience Institute. Houston’s health care and social assistance industry employs more than 343,000 at 18,300 establishments. An additional 35 biopharmaceuticals establishments provide another 1,300 jobs, while medical device manufacturing accounts for more than 2,000 jobs at 142 establishments.
Lonza is one of the world’s leading and most-trusted suppliers to the pharmaceutical, biotech and specialty ingredients markets. We harness science and technology to create products that support safer and healthier living and that enhance the overall quality of life. Not only is the company a custom manufacturer and developer, Lonza also offers services and products ranging from active pharmaceutical ingredients and stem-cell therapies to drinking water sanitizers, from the vitamin B compounds and organic personal care ingredients to agricultural products, and from industrial preservatives to microbial control solutions that combat dangerous viruses, bacteria and other pathogens. Founded in 1897 in the Swiss Alps, Lonza today is a well-respected global company with more than 40 major manufacturing and R&D facilities and approximately 9,800 full-time employees worldwide. The company generated sales of CHF 3.8 billion in 2015 and is organized into two market-focused segments: Pharma & Biotech and Specialty Ingredients. Further information can be found at www.lonza.com
Established in 1995, the Pearland Economic Development Corporation promotes, assists and enhances the economic development activities and quality of life within Pearland, Texas. In bringing new and existing businesses to the area, the organization attracts capital investment to add to the city’s tax base and helps to increase the number of employment opportunities for residents. For more information, visit www.pearlandedc.com
About the Greater Houston Partnership
Greater Houston Partnership works to make Houston one of the world’s best places to live, work and build a business. It represents 11 counties: Austin, Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Montgomery, San Jacinto, Walker and Waller. With more than 1,200 member organizations, GHP represents approximately one-fifth of the region’s workforce. Visit the Partnership at www.houston.org