Pfizer exec named new site head at Lonza’s Pease tradeport complex

Other leadership changes made as firm makes way for a ‘new next-generation facility’

There’s a new boss, as well as other changes at the top of the org chart, at Lonza Biologics as the Portsmouth pharmaceuticals manufacturer enters a new phase of growth and expansion.

The new boss, called a site head, is Anthony “Tony” Mulcahy, who as of his hiring in October became responsible for the overall leadership of the sprawling manufacturing facility at the Pease International Tradeport.

Mulcahy came to Lonza by way of Pfizer, for which he was the site leader of the Pfizer Global Supply operation in Sanford, N.C., since 2018.

Glenn Myers, head of site communications for the Portsmouth plant, said Mulcahy “brings a new set of eyes and a wealth of industry experience to our growing site.”

Mulcahy has more than 27 years of overall experience in biologic commercial and clinical operations, contract manufacturing operations, gene therapy operations and commercial/business development.

In North Carolina, Mulcahy oversaw vaccine and gene therapy manufacturing at a plant with more than 1,000 employees.

Lonza is a contract manufacturer of the biologics that go into treatments and therapies developed by pharmaceutical companies and approved by the federal government. Currently, it is best known for production of a part of the Covid-19 vaccine developed by Moderna in response the worldwide pandemic that began in early 2020. The primary component of the Moderna vaccine is produced at the Lonza plant in Portsmouth.

Lonza, which set up its first plant in the tradeport in 1996, one of the earliest tenants at Pease. The company occupied about 50,000 square feet and had fewer than 100 employees there. Today, Lonza occupies almost 680,000 square feet and employs some 1,300 people. Future expansion calls for another 1 million square feet and an additional 1,000 or so employees.

With Mulcahy’s hiring, there were other changes in leadership in Portsmouth.

Mark Caswell, who had been the interim site head before Mulcahy’s arrival, was named head of operations. Before serving as the interim site head from May 2021 until October 2021, he was Lonza’s head of engineering and facilities. The new head of engineering and facilities is John Maravich. Previously, he was Lonza’s director of engineering and facilities.

Caswell’s new job and title has the added distinction of being in charge of what the company is calling the “2k asset.”

According to information supplied by the company, this is a growth initiative that is taking place at both the Portsmouth facility and the Visp plant in Switzerland, where Lonza is headquartered in Basel.

“The expansion of both our large-scale and small-scale manufacturing capacity will ensure Lonza continues to deliver industry-leading contract manufacturing services that will support our customers’ needs in the medium and long term,” Pierre-Alain Ruffieux, Lonza CEO, said in a statement.

The company describes the Portsmouth expansion as “a new next-generation facility supporting late-phase clinical and commercial development and manufacturing.”

Lonza has indicated to the PDA of its intention over the next several years to develop a vacant piece of land with about 25 acres off Corporate Drive called the “iron parcel” because of its shape.

According to Lonza, the “new facility will offer customers an optimized path through BLA to market as well as the flexibility to meet challenges in product forecasting during the initial years of product launch.”

The BLA reference is Biologics License Application, a request for permission to introduce, or deliver for introduction, a biologic product into the market. This new phase will allow Lonza to help pharma companies in the development of their new products through and after the approval process.

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