Thursday, Apr 6, 2000
South San Francisco, Calif. -- April 6, 2000 --
Genentech, Inc. (NYSE: DNA) announced today the purchase of a cell culture manufacturing facility in Porrino, Spain, from Glaxo Wellcome Biofarma S.A. The facility has been established as a wholly-owned subsidiary company, "Genentech Espana S.L.," and will supplement Genentech's existing bulk cell culture production capacity.
"This purchase represents a smart business opportunity for Genentech to plan ahead for additional manufacturing capacity anticipated from our full and robust pipeline of late-stage clinical projects," said James Panek, senior vice president of Product Operations at Genentech. "Strategically, the bulk of our manufacturing operations will remain in Northern California. Genentech Espana allows us to quickly add a reasonable increment of new capacity for a minimal investment."
The facility, which comprises approximately 40,000 square feet, was built in 1976 and until last year manufactured interferon for Glaxo Wellcome. The purchase includes several large-scale cell culture bioreactors, as well as supporting facilities and administration offices. Current employees at the facility have been hired by Genentech to operate Genentech Espana.
"We have partnered with Glaxo Wellcome to ensure that this is a seamless transition," said Rob Arathoon, Ph.D., vice president of Manufacturing and Process Sciences at Genentech. "We are thrilled that this group of well-trained, highly-skilled employees will join the Genentech family and we look forward to working with them to further our mission of providing life-saving medicines to patients who need them."
Genentech plans to spend additional resources to modify the facility and transfer technology in preparation for licensure by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), which is expected to occur within the next 18 months. The company has no further plans for international expansion at this time and remains committed to its manufacturing operations in Northern California.
In South San Francisco, Genentech's corporate headquarters and manufacturing facilities occupy more than 2.3 million square feet of space in 24 buildings. To meet growing demand for its products, Genentech completed a second manufacturing facility in Vacaville in 1999 that will more than double its bulk cell culture capacity. Genentech is building product inventory while awaiting FDA licensure of the Vacaville facility, which is expected to occur by mid-2000.
Genentech, Inc. is a leading biotechnology company that discovers, develops, manufactures and markets human pharmaceuticals for significant unmet medical needs. Thirteen of the approved products of biotechnology stem from Genentech science. Genentech markets seven products directly in the United States. The company has headquarters in South San Francisco, California and is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DNA.
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