Lonza adds Simris peptide payload to ADC toolbox

CDMO Lonza will integrate Simris’s antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) payload technology into its bioconjugation services.

Dan Stanton, Managing editor

March 9, 2023

2 Min Read
Lonza adds Simris peptide payload to ADC toolbox
Image: DepositPhotos/ AlexKosev

CDMO Lonza will integrate Simris’s antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) payload technology into its bioconjugation services.

Swedish biotech Simris Biolgics, previously known as Cyano Biotech, has entered a strategic partnership to make contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) Lonza its preferred partner for the commercialization of its ADC payload platform.

Under terms of the deal, financials of which have not been divulged, Lonza will gain the exclusive right to offer the technology to customers seeking payloads to develop into ADCs, while Simris will promote Lonza as its exclusive partner for services using its technology.


Image: DepositPhotos/

“We have developed and protected a novel technology platform that allows us to modify cyanobacterial non-ribosomal peptides in living cyanobacteria,” a Simris spokesperson told BioProcess Insider. “The technology is extremely flexible allowing us to create tens, if not even, hundreds of thousands of variants to a single class of toxins.”

The toxin payloads have been developed so they are unlikely to be taken up by a cell in their free form but when attached to a monoclonal antibody (mAb) they are taken into a cancer cell where they trigger cell death.

“[They] are microcystins, a cyclic peptide that inhibitions protein phosphatase activity stimulating the breakdown of the cell wall of the cancer cell,” we were told. “This is a universal mode of action, meaning we are able to target all cancers with this payload. The microcystin payload actually inhibits two separate protein phosphatases meaning that you effectively have two payloads in one and thereby reducing the chances of drug resistance.”

Lonza, is a self-proclaimed “pioneer in bioconjugation,” having been involved in the space since 2006 and publicly named as the CDMO for the majority of approved ADC products.

The Simris deal is the latest example of Lonza bolstering its ADC arsenal. Last December, for example, the firm added AbTis’ AbClick platform – a site-selective bioconjugation technology that can bind off-the-shelf native proteins to payloads – to its service offering. Meanwhile, the CDMO has invested heavily in its ADC manufacturing capabilities, including recent high potency API (HPAPI) expansions at sites in Visp, Switzerland, and Nansha, China.

“This new collaboration with Simris allows us to offer customers exclusive access to novel payloads derived from cyanobacterial natural products, as part of the Lonza Bioconjugation Toolbox,” said Iwan Bertholjotti, senior director of Commercial Development for Bioconjugates at Lonza. “Our partnership with Simris enables us to advance the development of novel bioconjugates with the potential to transform cancer therapy and patient outcomes.”

About the Author(s)

Dan Stanton

Managing editor

Journalist covering the international biopharmaceutical manufacturing and processing industries.

Founder and editor of Bioprocess Insider, a daily news offshoot of publication Bioprocess International, with expertise in the pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors, in particular, the following niches: CROs, CDMOs, M&A, IPOs, biotech, bioprocessing methods and equipment, drug delivery, regulatory affairs and business development.

From London, UK originally but currently based in Montpellier, France through a round-a-bout adventure that has seen me live and work in Leeds (UK), London, New Zealand, and China.

You May Also Like