Skip to content

Bacthera’s Visp plant aims to revolutionize microbiome-based treatments

Life sciences

30 October 2023

Located in Lonza's Visp industry park, Bacthera's MC4a Center of Excellence covers 12,000 square meters, featuring three manufacturing floors with one dedicated to SER-109 production. Located in Lonza’s Visp industry park, Bacthera’s MC4a Center of Excellence covers 12,000 square meters, featuring three manufacturing floors with one dedicated to SER-109 production. | © Bacthera

In Visp, Bacthera’s MC4a Center of Excellence readies to manufacture transformative microbiome therapies, notably the Seres Therapteutics’ life-saving SER-109.

Bacthera, a leading Contract Development and Manufacturing Organization (CDMO), specializes in the advancement of microbiome-based therapies. With a focus on producing treatments that target the human microbiome, the company combines expertise and modern facilities to address a range of health challenges, emphasizing individualized patient care and innovative solutions.

Based in Visp (canton of Valais), Bacthera’s Center of Excellence, dubbed MC4a, exemplifies a landmark commitment to producing groundbreaking microbiome-based treatments. Foremost among these is SER-109, a product of Seres Therapeutics, which aims to combat the recurrence of the perilous Clostridioides difficile infection (rCDI). This infection, typically an aftermath of antibiotic treatments, triggers life-threatening diarrhea.

Lukas Schüpbach, CEO of Bacthera, explained: “With our new Microbiome Center of Excellence in Visp, we look forward to supporting the manufacture of life-saving microbiome-based therapies such as SER-109.” His sentiments were echoed by Eric Shaff, the CEO of Seres Therapeutics, who emphasized the significance of partnering with Bacthera to amplify the production of SER-109 to cater to surging demand.

Bacthera and Seres Therapeutics’ collaboration started two years ago with the noble vision of manufacturing SER-109. Thomas Steinmann, overseeing the Visp site, encapsulated the ongoing progress, saying: “Every day, machines vital to the future commercial production of VOWST™ (fecal microbiota spores, live-brpk) are set up and then qualified. Our expert team in Visp is transitioning seamlessly into this new environment, preparing for process performance qualification.”

A hub of excellence in microbiome treatments

The crux of the agreement between Bacthera and Seres Therapeutics is to expand Seres’ commercial manufacturing horizons. With Bacthera’s involvement, SER-109 stands to gain a boost in its commercial production potential, positioning it as possibly the pioneer product in the living biotherapeutics realm to be commercially produced.

Safeguarded within Lonza’s Visp industry park, Bacthera’s MC4a spans 12,000 square meters. It houses three distinct manufacturing floors, one of which will exclusively cater to SER-109 production. This initiative leans heavily on the tried-and-true Lonza Ibex Solutions concept, ensuring early commercial launches and seamless production.

Elaborating on the importance of the collaboration, Jean-Christophe Hyvert, President of Biological Products and Cells & Genes at Lonza, commented: “This collaboration truly illustrates Bacthera’s leading LBP manufacturing offering as a strategic partner on the road to commercialization. Bacthera will use a facility inspired by Ibex solutions to offer flexibility, speed, and assured supply, ushering in a pivotal moment in the progression of microbiome-targeted therapies.”