Project Alert

Nexus Pharmaceuticals has announced an agreement with the village of Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin to build an industry-leading sterile injectable manufacturing facility. The multi-phase, multi-year project is expected to be completed in ten years, with an estimated investment of $250 million. Construction is planned to commence in August 2019 and is expected to be completed in 2021. The initial phase 1 investment of $85 million will support a new, 100,000 square foot three-story manufacturing facility. The facility is being designed by Integrated Project Services (IPS) with construction management services being provided by Turner Construction. Learn More

Charles River Laboratories has announced the planned opening of the Charles River Accelerator and Development Lab (CRADL™) in South San Francisco in early 2020. CRADL provides flexible, turnkey vivarium rental space supported by Charles River's technical, vivarium, and veterinary support expertise in key biohubs. Initially launched in downtown Cambridge, Massachusetts, CRADL Cambridge offers rental vivarium space for emerging and well-established research institutions. Similar to its sister facility in Cambridge, CRADL South San Francisco will focus on providing a turnkey vivarium solution and in vivo support services for researchers looking to divert more time and resources to their research. Learn More

Alloplex Biotherapeutics, which is working to develop an individualized cellular therapy to treat cancer, is relocating from an incubator at SmartLabs in Cambridge to a 4,700-square-foot facility at TradeCenter 128 in Woburn. The cellular therapeutics company is expected to move in September to the Cummings Properties-managed campus. The landmark TradeCenter 128 campus directly fronts I-95 and is one mile from the I-93 interchange. Several other life science firms-including Quest Diagnostics, OpGen, Batavia Biosciences, and Sophion Biosciences-lease space at this property. Learn More

Citra Labs has unveiled its $30 million, 60,000 square foot, newly renovated manufacturing facility on Messina Drive in Braintree, Massachusetts. The Life Science Corridor Initiative is a partnership created by the mayors of Boston, Cambridge, Quincy, Somerville and Braintree which seeks to bring life science companies to the communities of the Red Line corridor. The communities hope to do this through collaboration with leaders in education, government and life sciences to foster continued success in research, innovation and business development. Learn More

Lonza has announced that it will acquire a sterile drug product fill & finish facility from Novartis. The facility, located in Stein, Switzerland, will be the first for the facility for Lonza's Drug Product Services (DPS). No employees are expected to lose their jobs with the deal. The site will be the first Lonza DPS facility to cover sterile manufacturing for clinical production and commercial launches, the company said. The new facility will help Lonza Pharma & Biotech build on existing parenteral drug product development and testing capabilities. It will be the first sterile drug product fill and finish facility in Lonza's network. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Learn More

Johnson & Johnson has announced the opening of JLABS in Shanghai, the world's largest JLABS and the first in Asia Pacific. The roughly 47,000 sq. ft. facility, located in Shanghai's Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park, is a collaboration with the Shanghai Pharma Engine Company, Ltd. The site can accommodate more than 50 start-ups across the pharmaceuticals, medical device, consumer and health tech segments, and opens with 31 resident companies, including the three awardees of the Lung Cancer Innovation QuickFire Challenge. Learn More

Mile High Labs, the largest manufacturer of CBD isolate in the world, has announced the purchase of Novartis' 400,000 square foot production facility in Broomfield, Colorado. The transaction includes the land, labs, building, and ready-to-use finished products manufacturing equipment. The Broomfield facility is fully operational, which allows Mile High Labs to begin production in the near term of private label products including tinctures, capsules, tablets, topicals, and gummies. The facility includes equipment and infrastructure for research and development, quality assurance, bottling, filling, packing, warehousing, labeling, shipping and compliance monitoring. Learn More

Selkirk Pharma has made public plans to build a new, roughly $30 million manufacturing facility near Spokane, Washington. The predevelopment application filed with the city of Spokane indicates the company plans to build a 63,000-square-foot manufacturing facility on over 6 acres of land at 9110 W. Granite, in the southwest section of the Pacific Northwest Technology Park, across Granite from the large Northwest Farm Credit Services headquarters building in West Plains, Washington. The manufacturing facility will employ the VarioSys sterile filling system from Bausch+Stroebel and both a Skan isolator and the new Skanfog technology from Skan AG. Learn More

Bristol-Myers Squibb and Catalent have announced that Catalent has agreed to purchase BMS's oral solid, biologics, and sterile product manufacturing and packaging facility in Anagni, Italy. The companies anticipate completing the transaction by the end of 2019, subject to regulatory approvals, the information and consultation procedure with the unions, and the satisfaction of certain other customary closing conditions. Through the years, the Anagni plant has served as one of the primary launch facilities for new medicines from BMS. Upon closing, Catalent will continue to manufacture Bristol-Myers Squibb's current product portfolio at the site. Learn More

AstraZeneca's new global headquarters in Cambridge, UK is now estimated to cost $950 million. That is roughly twice the estimated cost when the project kicked-off several years ago. According to AZ's latest annual report, the increased costs can be attributed to the complexity of the architecture, general inflation in construction costs and "increased investment in new technologies and equipment". While occupancy of the new site was originally planned for 2016, the latest schedule has occupancy starting in 2020 with the site not being fully operational until after 2020. Learn More

KriGen Pharmaceuticals is investing $7 million and hiring 100 employees at its new manufacturing facility and quality control lab in the Harnett County community of Lillington, about 30 miles south of Raleigh. The 55,000-square-foot site is being designed to manufacture a variety of sterile liquid injectable products for hospital and clinical use, using current good manufacturing practices (cGMP) to ensure safety and effectiveness. The North Carolina Biotechnology Center provided expert support in the recruitment of KriGen. Learn More

Tergus Pharma has announced plans to build a state-of-the-art commercial manufacturing facility in the Raleigh-Durham, NC area and will begin construction in July 2019. The new 100,000 square foot facility will have Clinical Trial Material (Phases I thru III) Supplies and commercial manufacturing capabilities and expand current capacity by over 400%. Tergus plans to open the new facility in early 2020, enabling the company to act as a CDMO by providing comprehensive services from development through manufacturing. This expansion comes as Targus announces a partnership with Great Point Partners which will provide the requisite funding. Learn More

A former GSK R&D site near Philadelphia is being redeveloped into a WeWork-styled campus for healthcare and life sciences firms, part of a plan to turn Pennsylvania into a more attractive research hub for the industry. The site was bought last year for a reported $50 million, and spans 1.6 million square feet. The bulk of that is in Upper Merion, where GSK has leased back space, while 640,000 square feet will be dedicated as a "coworking ecosystem."  Efforts to establish new R&D centers outside of the industry's traditional hubs in the Bay Area near San Francisco and Cambridge, Massachusetts, have been mostly mixed. Learn More

FUJIFILM has announced an initial $10 million investment to establish a full scale, fully integrated continuous processing facility for non-GMP manufacture of biopharmaceuticals at its FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies, Billingham, UK location. This perfusion-based facility represents the culmination of 3 years of in-house innovation by Fujifilm group companies and includes the introduction of patented, disruptive downstream bioprocessing technology to the biopharmaceutical industry. The new facility will include a 500L single use perfusion bioreactor and 7 patented downstream processing units which are expected to be available for process development services this Fall. Learn More

KD Pharma has acquired a manufacturing facility in Seal Sands, UK to manufacture omega-3 products. The site, which joins KD sites in Germany, Norway and the U.S., was previously used for manufacturing omega-3 products so is well positioned to be brought online later this year. The acquisition will enable KD Pharma to meet market demand for APIs in response to new product approvals, label expansions and clinical research. "This acquisition expands our technology and manufacturing base for producing APIs with the highest concentrations of EPA and DHA omega-3s," said Oscar Groet, KD Pharma Group's chief executive. Learn More

Aldevron has announced plans to build a 14-acre gene therapy manufacturing campus at its headquarters in Fargo, North Dakota. Phase one of the construction project will start in August. Once completed, its annual capacity will be more than $1 billion of plasmid DNA, RNA, gene editing enzymes and other biologics. The expansion will increase biotech production capacity 10-fold, grow its warehouse space by more than four times, and develop a research and development center. The new construction will include three new buildings totaling 189,000 square feet. The first building is expected to be fully operational by the first quarter of 2021. Learn More

Iovance Biotherapeutics announced this week that it will build a 136,000-square-foot facility in Philadelphia to produce cancer therapies using its tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte (TIL) technology. While construction will take about two years, the California biotech expects to spend some $75 million over three years on the overall project, creating "several hundred" jobs in Philadelphia. Iovance received undisclosed financial incentives from the state, city and PIDC, a public-private economic development corporation, for the new site. It also has a letter of intent from PIDC for a five-year option to expand further. Learn More

Longmont city council members this week voted their unanimous initial approval of an ordinance authorizing the offer of an estimated $1.9 million in incentives to AveXis to get the company to expand its presence in Longmont. AveXis, a subsidiary of Novartis, recently bought the 64.12-acre former AstraZeneca property at 4000 Nelson Road, rehired 150 full-time former AstraZeneca employees and has begun operations there. Longmont's proposed $1.9 million incentives package would include rebates on certain costs and taxes on property, machinery and equipment.
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Boehringer Ingelheim has announced a multi-million-dollar investment that will see the expansion of its manufacturing capacity in Mexico over the next two years. The majority of the investment, $52 million will be at the biopharma giants site in Xochimilco which specializes in oral dosage anti-diabetic drugs. The Xochimilco plant is one of three sites that Boehringer has in Mexico, and the capital injection will be destined to increase the production capacity by at least 50%. The expansion at the Xochimilco plant is part of an investment plan to invest $84 million by 2023 to boost production at all three of its production sites in the country. Learn More

Chugai, a business unit of Roche, announced this week a decision to construct a centralized research laboratory. The new facility, to be known as the Chugai Life Science Park, is being constructed in Yokohama. The new facility will become home to both the Fuji Gotemba Research Laboratories and Kamakura Research Laboratories upon its completion. As for the future of the two research labs, both will be closed after the consolidation is complete. The new 380,000 sq. ft. facility is expected to cost roughly $1.15B with construction scheduled to begin in August of this year and be completed in Q3' 2022. Learn More

WuXi Biologics has announced that it has entered into a strategic partnership Letter of Intent (LOI) with a global vaccine leader, pursuant to which WuXi Vaccines will build a dedicated facility and supply a commercial product for the global market. Under the LOI, WuXi Vaccines will build an integrated vaccine manufacturing facility including drug substance manufacturing (DS), drug product manufacturing (DP) as well as Quality Control labs (QC). The facility will be dedicated to manufacture 100% of the global market of one of our partner's vaccine products. The value of the 20-year manufacturing contract is estimated to be more than $3 billion USD. Learn More

The University of Maryland BioPark is planning its next building as developer Wexford Science & Technology has revealed plans for a $200-plus million, 10-story, 333,000 sq. ft. office and biotech building at the northwest corner of Martin Luther King Blvd. and W. Baltimore St. The new building is Phase One of a two-phrase project that will redevelop a Poppleton/Hollins Market block that borders Martin Luther King Blvd., W. Baltimore St., W. Fayette St., and N. Fremont Ave. The project site currently includes green spaces, a parking lot, and several open spaces created by demolishing a Chinese carryout restaurant, rowhomes, and a former church. Learn More

Celltion Chairman Seo Jung-jin has announced that the biopharma group will invest roughly $34 billion and create some 110,000 jobs by 2030. These monies will be distributed so as to provide roughly $23 billion for its biopharma business, $4 billion for its APIs business and $7 billion for its U-Healthcare platform business which involves artificial intelligence and medical database services. The stated purpose of which being to build a bio-industrial valley capable of making South Korea the hub of the global biopharma industry. To realize this business plan, Celltrion says it will hire some 2,000 R&D professionals and 8,000 others for its expanded factories. Learn More

Thermo Fisher Scientific announced this week that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire a drug substance manufacturing site in Cork, Ireland, from GSK for approximately $100 million in cash. The Cork site will expand capacity to meet customer demand for the development and commercial manufacturing of complex APIs. Thermo Fisher will continue to produce APIs for GSK under a multi-year supply agreement and plans to expand use of the site to develop and produce complex APIs for other customers as well. The site contains 270,000 liters of reactor capacity, 10 production buildings, an R&D pilot plant and lab infrastructure. Learn More

The Delaware Biotechnology Institute will expand into 70,000 square feet within the new six-story, $160 million Biopharmaceutical Innovation Building on the STAR Campus next February. The building, which includes labs, offices, collaborative space, and shared research facilities, will be the home of the National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals (NIIMBL), a coalition of 150 companies, educational institutions, nonprofits and state governments. The Delaware Biotechnology Institute will take a little over two floors of the six-story building besides the 70,000 square feet it has in its current location at 15 Innovation Way. Learn More

ElevateBio has announced plans to create and build a broad portfolio of single and multi-product cell and gene therapy companies. Leveraging the roughly $150 million it has raised to date, Elevate Bio plans to provide centralized bench-to-bedside capabilities including world-class scientists, manufacturing facilities, drug development and commercialization expertise. All of which will be housed in a new 100,000 sq. ft. R&D and Manufacturing center in Waltham, Massachusetts to be known as BaseCamp which is on schedule to be fully operational in Q3/Q4 of 2020.  In the meantime, the company is leveraging its lab space in Cambridge, Massachusetts to launch collaborations. Learn More

Bayer has made public plans to invest $150 million into its site in Berekeley, CA to build a Cell Culture Technology Center. The new Cell Culture Technology Center will be built on Bayer's existing Berkeley campus. The new 40,000 square foot facility, which is expected to be ready for clinical production in late 2021, will support the development of emerging therapies in Bayer's portfolio with an emphasis on oncology, cardiology and additional specialty care therapeutic areas. Bayer has selected Fluor for design and construction, and GE Healthcare for the integration of its FlexFactory™ technology platform into the Center. Learn More

Merck & Co., Inc., a publicly held global healthcare company known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, plans to invest up to $1 billion in stages over the next three years to expand its manufacturing operation in Elkton, Virginia. The company will add 120,000 square feet to its existing 1.1 million-square-foot operation in Elkton, Virginia to increase production of its Human Papillomavirus vaccines. Virginia successfully competed with other states for the project, which is anticipated to create approximately 100 new jobs in Rockingham County. As part of the expansion Blue Ridge Community College and James Madison University will collaborate to address Merck's short- and long-term workforce needs. Learn More

The Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) has collaborated on a project to develop new research and testing capabilities to drive further scale-up and manufacture of next generation liquid formulated products. Working alongside the Universities of Birmingham, Leeds and Edinburgh, CPI has created an open-access facility to enhance SME and larger corporate partners' product development. Consisting of a series of scaled vessels, from one liter to 1,000 liters, with a sample flow loop to allow in-line and at-line monitoring of process parameters, the facility's configuration is highly flexible and can be adjusted to specific project needs. Learn More

Biotechnology company Aldevron is expanding its Madison site, more than doubling the size of its space and, potentially, its staff over the next couple of years. The company currently occupies 8,000 square feet at 5602 Research Park Blvd., in University Research Park, and it will add nearly 10,000 square feet, moving into space being vacated by another biotech. Large fermentation equipment already has arrived to expand the site's biomanufacturing capacity. Aldevron's Madison labs culture bacteria, as well as mammal and insect cells, to manufacture proteins and enzymes. The expansion is expected to be completed and operating by this fall. Learn More

Takeda announced this week that it has opened a new research facility in San Diego. The new 165,000 square foot site is home to more than 250 employees focused on leveraging specialized drug discovery technologies and advancing discovery research in gastroenterology and neuroscience, the company said. In its announcement, Takeda said the San Diego site is home to four research platform groups -- structural biology, early target discovery, computational biology and biologics. The new San Diego facility complements Takeda's global Research & Development center in Cambridge, Mass. and its other global research site in Shonan, Japan. Learn More

Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies has announced an expansion to its Billingham, United Kingdom location through the creation of a new BioCampus. The initial phase of this project will involve a new purpose-built facility. This will consist of approximately 42,000 square feet of space and will house roughly 250 existing staff and 50 new staffers. This latest investment is part of a major strategic growth plan. In September 2017 FDB announced the opening of the 10,000 square foot, state-of-the-art cell culture PD Labs in Wilton Centre, Teesside. In January 2019, the Wilton Laboratories were further expanded with the addition of 7,000 square feet of laboratory space increasing FDB's cell culture PD capacity. Learn More

Precigen this week announced the official opening of its new 5,000 sq. ft. manufacturing facility to support gene therapy manufacturing. The GMP facility was designed with agility and control in mind, focusing on rapid manufacturing and the ability to scale production appropriately to meet early stage clinical trial needs. The facility includes ISO 7 cleanroom suites that will be utilized to manufacture gene therapy vectors, as well as cell banks for early stage gene therapy trials. Due to the flexible design, other types of cell-based biopharma products can also be manufactured in the facility. Additionally, the facility includes a GMP quality control laboratory that supports lot release and stability testing. Learn More

GlaxoSmithKline has announced plans to spend $100 million to expand capacity at its Hamilton, Montana, site and boost production of vaccines, including Shingrix. The investment will create temporary construction and contracting jobs and a range of new permanent positions in science, engineering, manufacturing and quality control according to GSK. The biopharma giant is focusing the investment on components for adjuvants, which are added to vaccines to strengthen the immune response of patients. GSK is one of the few remaining large pharmaceutical makers in the vaccine market, along with Pfizer and Merck & Co. Learn More

Kite Pharma has announced plans to build a biologics manufacturing facility on a 20-acre site in Urbana, Maryland. The site, to be located at 9021 Bennett Creek Blvd just off I-270, will feature a 279,000 sq. ft. building to be home to as many as 800 employees. Alert readers will recall that Kite was acquired by Gilead in 2017 for nearly $12 billion and currently has facilities in both California and the Netherlands. While financial details of the project have not been made public, it is known that per the terms of its financial incentives Kite will spend no less than $85 million on project related expenditures. The project is expected to be completed in late 2021. Learn More

Start Codon, taking its name appropriately from a key messenger RNA (mRNA) sequence, will identify and recruit high potential companies from across the UK and beyond, drawing on the world-class resources of Cambridge's life sciences cluster to propel them towards a Series A fundraising. The accelerator says it will be the first in the Cambridge cluster to provide life science start-ups with significant investment, which it claims could reach up to $325,000. The site will have a full-time dedicated team of experienced and active mentors, and office and lab space, to be located at the Milner Therapeutics Institute, part of the new life sciences campus in central Cambridge. Learn More

The Summit Development Group, a Lake Oswego based real estate developer in Oregon, has announced a planned biotech campus on Sandy Boulevard in Southeast Portland. The site, to be known as NIR Center, will consist of two buildings, each roughly 10 stories tall, supporting 190,000 sq. ft. of BSL2 lab space and 65,000 sq. ft. of office, conference and event space. Planning for the site also includes 5,000 sq. ft. of retail space and the potential for a child care center. Learn More

GenScript Biotech has broken ground on construction of its Legend Biotech Commercial Manufacturing Center. The 1.4+ million sq. ft. Manufacturing Center is being built in compliance with the current cGMP requirements of the FDA, the EMEA and the NMPA, and will specialize in plasmids and viruses manufacturing. The plasmid service line will be equipped with single-use bioreactors for plasmid production, while regarding the virus line, suspension-based production processes and adherent production processes are planned. These production lines that feature a combined output capacity can simultaneously meet the demands of several commercial projects. Learn More

The Berkshire Innovation Center, a 20,000 sq. ft. two story facility in Pittsfield Massachusetts, is on track for a Fall opening. And with the construction running on schedule, officials are looking ahead to the next steps: attracting tenants to the building and surrounding William Stanley Business Park. Construction began in September on the $13.8 million center, which will include training facilities, biotech wet space, clean rooms and office and event space for small to medium-sized companies in the Berkshires. Its construction is considered to be a key part of the development of the mostly vacant 52-acre business park, which once was home to General Electric. Learn More

Paragon Bioservices is opening a manufacturing facility near Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport that the company says will create 150 jobs. The biologics contract development and manufacturing organization said the new facility will help the firm employ 500 people in Maryland by the end of the year. The 200,000 sq. ft. facility has 500L and 2000L bioreactors that are used to produce materials used in gene therapy and next-generation vaccines. Learn More

Cambrex has announced that it has completed the construction of a $24 million highly potent API (HPAPI) manufacturing facility at its site in Charles City, IA. The 6,000 sq. ft. facility is currently undergoing validation and will be ready to commence customer projects in May 2019. The production area will contain 4 reactors ranging from 200 to 1,000 gallon capacity enabling manufacturing campaigns of batch sizes up to 300 kg. With the completion of this new facility, the Charles City site now has the flexibility to support all phases of development and offer all scales of HPAPI manufacture across the full OEL band spectrum. Learn More

Fresenius Kabi recently hosted a topping off ceremony to celebrate the $100 million expansion of its pharmaceutical manufacturing campus in Wilson, North Carolina.  The expansion will add at least 445 new jobs to the workforce of 100-plus at the Wilson County site by the time it's completed in 2022, increasing the company's production of affordable, generic medicines for use in hospitals and clinics. Alert readers will recall that Fresenius broke ground in September 2017 on a $250 million expansion at its pharmaceutical manufacturing site in Melrose Park, Il. Learn More

Bayer AG has made public plans to increase its presence in Cambridge, Massachusetts by upwards of 150 persons over the next three years. To facilitate its planned increased presence the biopharma giant has signed a 12-year lease for 62,100 square feet on the top two floors and a common area at 238 Main St. for a total of $100 million. With the additional expense of building laboratories and the cost of employee wages and benefits, Bayer is preparing to spend about $200 million, according to executives. The site is a 12-story building that is being constructed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a focus on the development of cancer treatments. Learn More

Lonza has announced that it will partner with the Danish bioscience company Chr. Hansen in a joint venture to develop and produce bacteria-based therapies for biotech and pharma companies investing in the emerging field of microbiome research. The 50-50 partnership will be based in Basel, Switzerland, with facilities in both Switzerland and Denmark. To start, Lonza and Chr. Hansen will jointly invest $50.5 million. Once the partners confirm there's sufficient demand for supplying late-stage studies and commercial marketing, another $50 million in investment is planned. These monies will initially be used to upgrade existing facilities in Denmark and equipping new facilities in Switzerland. Learn More

Thermo Fisher is investing $150 million to upgrade three fill & finish sites, one in the U.S. and two in Italy. The U.S. site, located in Greenville, North Carolina, will receive an investment of $74 million to expand its prefilled syringe and vial-filling lines. The two sites in Italy, Monza and Ferentino, will roughly split the remaining $76 million to expand their prefilled syringe and vial-filling lines. Construction at all three sites is expected to be completed within the next 24 months.  The company says the expansions will especially support demand for sterile liquid and lyophilized product development and manufacturing. Learn More

AveXis has announced it signed an agreement to purchase an advanced biologics therapy manufacturing campus in Longmont, Colorado, further expanding AveXis' production capacity as it prepares to launch Zolgensma®. The Colorado facility joins AveXis' fully-operational manufacturing facility in Illinois, a facility under construction in North Carolina scheduled to be operational in 2020 and expanding product development capability at its San Diego facility. The addition of the six-building Longmont campus consists of nearly 700,000 square-feet of space for biologic drug manufacturing, offices, laboratories, warehousing and utilities. Learn More

Janssen Pharmaceuticals will demolish 76,000 square feet of research and lab space at its main building on its Route 202 campus in Raritan, New Jersey and replace it with a two-story 5,800-square-foot production addition. The new addition will be used for the relocation of existing production equipment. No word yet on what, if any, effect this will have on the number of workers at the site. This comes amid news that Janssen will be laying off roughly 50 employees at its site in Vacaville, California as It begins a three-year phaseout of the site that will ultimately result in its closure. The site was acquired decades ago when J&J purchased Alza for $10.5 billion. Learn More

Cambrex has announced it will double the liquid packaging capacity and weekly output at its Mirabel, Québec site in Canada with the addition of a cGMP packaging line and a new filler on the existing packaging line. By June 2019, the monthly capacity will be 1.2 million bottles compared with approximately 600,000 per month today. The new cGMP liquid packaging line allows the use of two fillers (XP and non-XP) working in parallel from process development through to cGMP commercial production and will now offer flexibility to accommodate ethanol and isopropanol-based solutions, aqueous solutions, lotions or suspensions. A new vision system has also been installed for online serialization. Learn More

Merck has made public plans to invest $168 million into its manufacturing site at Aubonne, Switzerland. The planned expansion will include a new building equipped with cutting-edge technologies dedicated to aseptic filling and quality control. The new lines for the aseptic filling of biotech medicines will be equipped with isolator technology, representing best practice in aseptic filling to ensure the safety of injectable medicines. One line will be dedicated to freeze-dried formulations, the other to liquid formulations. These two new lines, as well as the new quality control labs are expected to be completed in 2020 and 2021. Learn More.

Bluebird Bio has opened a 125,000 sq. ft. manufacturing facility in Durham, North Carolina. Once completed, the company will have invested more than $80 million building a world class site equipped with multiple manufacturing suites capable of producing lentiviral vector. The facility also includes warehouse and quality control testing laboratories. The facility construction is substantially complete and equipment qualification is underway. Initially, the company says it expects the facility to produce clinical and commercial supply of lentiviral vector near term and large enough to accommodate significant future expansion, including the possibility of manufacturing commercial drug product. Learn More

MaSTherCell has signed a lease for a 61,000-sq. ft. facility in Belgium which the contract manufacturer will build into a manufacturing site whose focus will be on late-stage and commercially-approved cell and gene therapy products. The new facility, expected to be operational in early 2021, will roughly triple the company's capacity, according to recent statements by parent company Orgenesis. The new facility will be located in the Gosselies Biopark, which is also home to the company's current facility which itself was updated in December of last year. Learn More

Mapi Pharma, which has developed a delayed release version of Teva's drug Copaxone, has announced that it will construct a manufacturing facility in Jerusalem. The new site, to be built even though the product has yet to receive formal marketing approval, is expected to have a total cost of roughly $12M and take a year to build. Mapi Pharma will use the several million dollars it receives from commercial partner Mylan, a well-known competitor of Teva's, to help pay for construction of the manufacturing facility that will employ 30 people. Learn More

Abeona Therapeutics says it has finished the first 6,000 square feet of a planned 26,000-foot expansion of a manufacturing facility in Cleveland, Ohio. The progress means the company should be ready to manufacture its EB-101 cell therapy for recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa in time for a Phase 3 study starting mid-year. Abeona released the manufacturing progress report as part of its fourth quarter financial results. With biopharma companies often struggling to find contract manufacturing capacity for their complex therapies, Abeona is making a bet on in-house facilities. Learn More

Foundation Medicine is subleasing 64,000 sq. ft. from PTC at 121 Seaport in Massachusetts, and it is likely the launch of a bigger Seaport real estate play, according to brokerage documents. The Cambridge-based company was also looking at Cambridge Crossing, but it has since zeroed in on the Seaport, particularly WS Development's Seaport Square, sources say. With city approval on a 7.7 million sq. ft. building plan, WS has several available blocks in its Seaport portfolio, depending on Foundation's space requirements, which published reports say include 300,000 to 400,000 sq. ft. of labs. Learn More

BioMed Realty has acquired the Emeryville Center for Innovation, located in Emeryville, California, for approximately $135 million. The Emeryville Center for Innovation currently consists of a 250,000 square foot, six-story life science office building and adjacent developable land parcels. As part of the transaction, Novartis will enter into a one-year leaseback on the existing building, during which time BioMed Realty will advance redevelopment plans to transform the building into a Class A+, state-of-the-art multi-tenant laboratory and office facility with integrated tenant amenities. Learn More

The Indianapolis City-County Council this week approved granting Eli Lilly a tax abatement worth $7 million over the next 10 years, even though several council members expressed concern about the proposal. The council voted 19-6 to approve Lilly's request, which is tied to the firm's pledge to spend $91 million on a building at its Lilly Technology Center on Kentucky Avenue that will house the company's biosynthetic human insulin production operations after a renovation. Opposition to the tax abatement came amid concerns that the planned investment will not create new jobs at the site. Learn More

Sagent Pharmaceuticals, a division of Nichi-Iko Pharmaceutical Company, has announced the purchase of an FDA-approved manufacturing site in Raleigh, North Carolina, from Xellia Pharmaceuticals. The site is capable of approving both small-molecule drugs and biologics. While Sagent's chief executive officer (CEO), Peter Kaemmerer, Ph.D., said in a statement that while it intends to continue to manufacture some products for Xellia, the acquisition of the Raleigh site "will enable the production of lyophilized formulations of our future biosimilar product offerings." Learn More

Fujifilm has announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Biogen's site in Hillerod, Denmark for roughly $890M in cash. Upon closure of this transaction, Biogen Hillerod will become Fujifilm's fourth biopharmaceutical contract development and manufacturing site. The existing workforce at the site, which consists of approximately 800 employees, will be retained by Fujifilm. Biogen Hillerod is equipped with 6 x 15,000L bioreactors for the manufacture of cell culture derived biologics. This facility will significantly expand the capacity and capabilities of Fujifilm under its Saturn mAb services. Learn More

RK Pharma has signed a long-term lease for 82,795 square feet, Building 215 at the former Pfizer campus at 401 North Middletown Rd. The drug company signed a lease for the full building at the New York Center for Innovation in Pearl River, NY with the property owner Industrial Realty Group. RK Pharma plans to bring approximately 100 jobs to the formulations and manufacturing building. The company specializes in developing injectable and oral pharmaceuticals. Alert readers will recall that Industrial Realty group acquired the 1.993 million-square-foot, 207-acre campus from Pfizer in late 2015. Learn More

Gene therapy company Krystal Biotech will take the wraps off its initial 4,500-square-foot cGMP manufacturing center this week. Ancoris, the name of the new center, is where the company's gel-based medicine will be made as it pursues FDA approval for the ointment. The company employs about 35 people, but plans are underway to double its payroll with construction of a larger drug manufacturing facility, which will support anticipated commercial demand for Krystal products. While a location and size of the new facility has yet to be determined, the company says completion is anticipated by 2020. Learn More

High Purity New England has signed a lease for a substantial new building, formerly occupied by Alexion, where they will nearly quadruple their manufacturing footprint and expand their offices in northern Rhode Island. High Purity New England has seen a surge of growth in the past 6 years, having grown 80% year-over-year for the past 4 years. In addition to their new building, High Purity New England will continue to occupy their current office and production facility. Learn More

Amicus has made public plans for a 75,000 sq. ft. Global Research and Gene Therapy Center in the heart of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The site, which is expected to be home to 200+ biologists, chemists and others, is expected to be available for move-in later this year. The company's current corporate headquarters in Cranbury, New Jersey will remain in place with the new center in Philadelphia serving as the headquarters of the company's science organization and gene therapy leadership team. Currently, a couple of dozen Amicus researchers have moved into a short-term space in West Philadelphia as they await the move. Learn More

Allogene Therapeutics, maker of allogeneic T cell therapies, has leased a 118,000-square-foot space in Newark, California, to develop a manufacturing facility. The facility's production processes will meet good manufacturing practice standards and provide the clinical supply and commercial product for Allogene's cell therapies pending regulatory approval. Currently, the biotech gets its clinical trial supply through a contracting organization - though that should continue to be "a component of the company's long-term manufacturing strategy." The lease is expected to commence in March 2020. Learn More

The developers behind Watertown's Arsenal Yards project are seeking to swap uses in an 8- or 9- story building that sits at the south end of the site, overlooking the Charles River. Originally envisioned as a residential tower, Boylston Properties and The Wilder Cos. are proposing to change site G within the Arsenal Yards project to life sciences space. The updated proposal calls for an 8- or 9-story building to include around 155,000 square feet of office/lab space and a parking garage. The development team hopes to begin construction in spring 2020 with completion in 2022. Learn More

BioBridge Global has announced that it is setting up the second phase of its GenCure biomanufacturing program. The program, which will include clean rooms, labs, office and meeting space, will be located in a 21,000 sq. ft. facility located on East Houston Street in San Antonio, Texas. GenCure, a BioBridge subsidiary, specializes in human-cell and tissue services for regenerative medicine. The organization will initially employ 20 to 25 scientific and technical staff at the complex, construction of which broke ground this week and is expected to be completed by years end. Learn More

AveXis has announced plans to invest $60 million over the next two years to expand its presence in RTP, North Carolina. North Carolina Commerce Secretary Anthony Copeland joined local dignitaries and other officials at the North Carolina Biotechnology Center for the announcement of the expansion plan by AveXis, a gene-therapy firm. The company, which had been considering Dublin, Ireland as a possible location, plans to create upwards of 200 new jobs, the majority of which high paying in nature. Learn More

The Hudson Research Center at 619 West 54th Street, has signed a lease with HiberCell, a newly launched biotech company developing therapeutics focused on preventing cancer relapse and metastasis. HiberCell will occupy a 15,000 s/f pre-built wet lab and office suite on the building's 8th floor, which is under construction and expected to be completed in April. The space is part of the developers' larger initiative to create over 100,000 s/f of research space in the building over the next two years. The development of The Hudson Research Center aligns with the city's ongoing initiatives to expand Manhattan's life sciences sector. Learn More

The British Library has greenlit the construction of a new research hub on its property in North London. The new site, costing up to $1 Billion, will expand premises held by the British Library, which is next to King's Cross and the Francis Crick Institute, a well-known bioscience research center. This will add sorely needed space for biotech companies that want to operate in North London. Scheduled to be completed by 2025, the site will have up to 796,000 square feet of space for offices and labs. The construction costs will be covered by funding from the British Library and development companies Mitsui Fudosan and Stanhope. Learn More

Genexine and SCM Life Science this week announced the acquisition of North Carolina based Argos Therapeutics for $11.1 million. The acquisition agreement includes a 20,000 square feet cGMP cell therapy production facility. This facility, as well as associated researchers and intellectual property rights will resume business under the company name CoImmune. Alert readers will recall that Argos' lead drug had an unsuccessful Phase III trial that led to financial challenges resulting in this sale. Learn More

Amarin is moving its American headquarters from Bedminster to Route 22 in Bridgewater, New Jersey. The new 67,000+ sq. ft. space is located at 440 Route 22 in the Grande Commons development. This move is expected to occur over the summer of this year with Amarin intending to close it current Bedminster location. Alert readers will recall that Amarin has experienced strong growth following favorable clinical trial results for its FDA approved heart drug Vascepa. Learn More

Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health will create 225 jobs and invest more than $120 million in the state of Georgia's Gwinnett, Clarke, and Hall counties. These monies are expected to increase manufacturing capacity and optimize Boehringers numerous R&D initiatives. The company, which announced back in November of last year plans to move its North American headquarters from Missouri to Duluth, is adding more than 100 new jobs at its manufacturing and research and development facility in Athens; and more than 50 jobs at the company's Gainesville manufacturing facility. Learn More

EMD Serono, a subsidiary of Merck KGaA, has announced plans to expand its Billerica, Mass. R&D facility. The company will invest $70 million to increase its space by 145,000 square feet. The new building will offer new laboratory and collaborative working space to accommodate approximately 400 new and current employees focused on advancing science in oncology, immuno-oncology and immunology. With this latest project, Merck KGaA will have invested more than $150 million in infrastructure to advance biopharmaceutical R&D in Massachusetts in recent years. Learn More

SIRION Biotech, which offers a comprehensive portfolio of custom viral vectors for preclinical and clinical studies, has announced the grand opening of a new office in Cambridge, MA. Just ahead of the grand opening, Sirion made public inked deals with Boston-based Orchard Therapeutics and San Francisco-based Denali Therapeutics. The company indicates it is currently negotiating a deal with a U.S. biotech company focused on hemophilia therapies and expects to launch five more partnerships in the next two years. Learn More

CBRE has announced that biotech company Akouos has assigned a lease on 37,500 square feet of lab space on the second floor at 645 Summer Street in Boston's Seaport District. 645 Summer Street is part of a multi-building complex known as Pappas Commerce Center located in the heart of Boston's Seaport District. The cutting-edge flex building is designed to meet the expectations of Boston's new economy. With a significant influx of high-profile companies looking for next-generation flex space, 645 Summer Street can accommodate both office and light lab tenants. Learn More

Vyriad, founded in 2016 by Mayo Clinic researchers to develop anti-cancer vaccines, recently moved from the Minnesota Biobusiness Center in downtown Rochester into 25,000 square feet of space in Building 110 on the Rochester Technology Campus, the former IBM campus, at 3605 U.S. Highway 52 North. While Vyriad's team of about 20 employees is busy in the new offices and labs, work on the planned manufacturing facility is ongoing. While it is years before Vyriad could have a product or therapy on the market, the Rochester facility will produce the specialized viruses used in the clinical trials needed before becoming approved for general use. Learn More

Fermenta Biotech, a subsidiary of DIL, has signed a 99-year lease in Gujarat, India for a 430,000 sq. ft. parcel of land. On which the company plans to construct a production facility for the expressed purpose of expanding manufacturing capacity for one of its lead products, Vitamin D3. The new facility will complement an existing, slightly smaller, facility already in operation in nearby Dahej. The new production site is expected to commence manufacturing operations in Q4 of 2020. Learn More

Romanian investors Attila and Nandor Santa have restarted production at the drug manufacturing site in Brasov, Romania which was closed by GSK in December 2015. The two investors took over the factory at the end of 2017. They restarted production and are currently selling their products to pharmaceutical companies in the European Union and also outside the EU. The site, which operates at 25% of its capacity, now operates under the name Santa Pharm. Learn More

A biopharma company specializing in developing injectable and oral medicine has signed a long-term lease for an 83,000-square-foot space at the New York Center for Innovation campus. The new tenant, RK Pharma, plans to create about 100 jobs, including skilled and entry-level positions for manufacturing and administrative positions, according to the landlord, Industrial Realty Group (IRG), which purchased 200 acres of the former Pfizer campus in 2015. Ravishanker Kovi, founder and executive chairman of RK Pharma, said the company has begun its operation on site. Learn More

Boehringer Ingelheim announced this week that it has started to expand capabilities at its biologics facility in Shanghai. The expansion includes an additional bioreactor and the infrastructure to support two 2,000-liter single-use bioreactor production lines. Boehringer said the new operations should meet GMP standards. While the facility has yet to manufacture commercial supply for any products, that should change later this year as Boehringer expects to begin production on an undisclosed monoclonal antibody. Learn more

The developer behind the $400 million redevelopment of the old Arsenal Mall in Watertown has signed its first big lab tenant. Cell therapy firm SQZ Biotech will take more than 63,000 square feet in the former mall, which is being converted into a mixed-use development by Boylston Properties. The biotech, currently based in an older office building nearby in Watertown, is rapidly growing following a $72 million funding round it closed last year and plans to "dramatically increase its footprint," its chief executive said. Learn More

Lonza has announced plans to invest millions of dollars to expand manufacturing capacity at its site in Slough, UK. The expansion, which is expected to focus significantly on single-use solutions, is expected to increase production capacity at the site by upwards of roughly 60% in the next five years and create upwards of 180 new jobs. Alert readers will recall that Lonza's Slough site is the center of excellence for biopharmaceutical process development and small-scale cGMP manufacturing with an emphasis on mammalian cell culture. Learn More

Autolus plans to open its U.S. headquarters and a research facility in Rockville, Maryland. The biopharma has signed a deal with developer Alexandria Real Estate Equities to build an 85,000 square foot office and research building at 9950 Medical Center Drive. The developer's plans are scheduled to go before the Montgomery County Planning Board this week. Learn More

Westchester County, New York is set to take a major step forward with a plan to build a biotech campus, creating 8,000 jobs. The proposed site sits just north of the Westchester Medical Center on wooded land known as the "North 60." It is slated one day to be home to a billion-dollar complex focused on biotech and life sciences. Supporters say it will mean 4,000 construction jobs and 8,000 permanent jobs. The property is near the headquarters of Regeneron, a biotech firm valued at $45 billion. Learn More

Catalent announced this week that it will invest roughly $100 million to expand its biologics site in Madison, Wisconsin over the next three years. It will be the second expansion of operations at Catalent Biologics Madison in about two years. Company spokesman Bernie Clark says the latest project will build a 60,000-square-foot addition at the Madison site. It's expected to be complete by 2021. The expansion will add more than 100 new jobs at the site. Catalent announced a similar investment this week at its facility in Bloomington, Indiana. Learn More

Allergan has made public plans to establish an R&D presence in the Kendall Square area of Cambridge, MA by the Spring of this year. The site will be led by Don Frail, PhD, Senior Vice President of Research and External Scientific Innovation (RESI) and Non-Clinical and Translational Sciences. Dr. Frail joined Allergan in 2014, relocating from Boston to the Allergan R&D center in Irvine, CA, and has led the Research, Clinical Pharmacology, Toxicology and ADME departments including the External Science & Innovation initiatives to evaluate and implement partnerships and acquisitions across Allergan's four key therapeutic areas. He will continue to lead the Irvine team as well. Learn More

CDMO Rentschler Biopharma has announced that it has completed the acquisition of a manufacturing facility from Shire. The 93,000 square foot site is located near Boston in Milford, MA. Under the terms of the agreement, Rentschler Biopharma will continue to manufacture for Shire at the site.In addition, Rentschler plans to further grow the site to be leveraged as a CDMO for the development and manufacturing of complex biopharmaceuticals. About 70 employees currently work at the Milford site, all of whom have been offered continued employment at the site. Learn More

Swedish drug manufacturer Recipharm is looking into closing its solid dose manufacturing plant in Greater Manchester, England. Company CEO Thomas Eldered said Recipharm conducted a review of the plant and believes "there is no likely prospect" the operation could deliver "acceptable return in the medium term." The U.K. plant has about 140 employees, and Eldered said Recipharm would look for ways to redeploy affected workers where possible. The facility has averaged negative earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization - a common financial metric - of roughly $2 million annually over the past three years. Learn More

In one of the biggest office deals on record in the region, Sanofi this week said it will lease two buildings to be built in booming East Cambridge and consolidate much of its local workforce there. The French drug maker - Massachusetts' largest life sciences employer - will put 2,700 employees in a pair of buildings at Cambridge Crossing, an old railyard being redeveloped on the Boston-Cambridge border north of the MBTA's Lechmere Green Line Station. Construction will start soon and Sanofi plans to open the buildings in late 2021 or early 2022. At 900,000 square feet, the deal is the largest lease since Vertex Pharmaceuticals leased 1.1 million square feet at two office buildings on the Seaport's Fan Pier in 2011. Learn More

Bio X cell, a manufacturer of antibodies for research, is planning to expand its footprint in Lebanon, New Hampshire by building a new facility on Labombard Road in the Route 120 corridor. The company has submitted an application asking for Planning Board approval to build a 26,000-square-foot facility near the newly opened Hilton Garden Inn. The building would allow the company, which leases two spaces near the Lebanon Municipal Airport, to grow its operations in a single facility. Officials at Bio X Cell are currently in the process of closing on the 2-acre property that will be home to the new building. Learn More

Orchard Therapeutics has signed a long-term lease agreement to build-out a gene therapy manufacturing facility in Fremont, California. The new 150,000-square-foot facility significantly increases Orchard's California footprint and adds to the Foster City and Menlo Park, California sites, which oversee the ongoing development and validation of the manufacture of Orchard's ex vivo gene therapy product candidates. Once operational, the new site will provide significant additional CGMP manufacturing capacity for both lentiviral vector and cryopreserved cell therapy products, enhancing Orchard's ability to manufacture and deliver gene-corrected hematopoietic stem cells for a wide range of diseases on a global basis. Learn More

Catalent Pharma Solutions this week announced it is investing nearly $14 million to expand biologics packaging capabilities and capacity at its Bloomington, Indiana, biologics manufacturing facility. Construction of the 15,000-square-foot facility infrastructure, which will include five new packaging suites and a new quality control laboratory, is due to be completed in February 2019, with installation and commissioning of new equipment to be phased throughout the year. This will include both a semi-automated and fully-automated top loading cartoner, an accessorized combination syringe assembly machine, an automated auto-injector assembly machine, and two semi-automatic visual inspection machines. Learn More

WuXi AppTec has announced the expansion of its facilities in San Diego, California. The newly expanded facility will establish a center of excellence in screening, discovery biology, pharmacology, and small molecule process R&D including phase I GMP manufacturing. The expansion will provide key elements of WuXi's small molecule capability and technology platform under one roof, further enhancing services to North American pharmaceutical and biotech industries. WuXi will also add extensively from the local talent base, further contributing to regional economic growth. Learn More

The Swiss contracting giant Lonza is partnering with GE Healthcare to build a manufacturing facility in China for biologic drugs, the contract development and manufacturing organization said Monday. The plant will be roughly 180,000 square feet and employ 160 workers. Lonza expects to be manufacturing out of the site by 2020. The facility, which will focus on antibodies, will be in Guangzhou, a port city northwest of Hong Kong in southern China. The agreement falls within a broader deal GE Healthcare has with the city's economic development zone, called the Guangzhou Development District. Learn More

Sanofi made public this week plans to invest roughly $800 million in France to upgrade its production sites, specifically in the areas of vaccines and other biologics. This news comes as the biopharma giant announced that it would eliminate 670 jobs in France by the end of 2020. The jobs being lost include human resources, IT and finance. According to the company these job cuts will occur on a voluntary basis. No word yet as to what, if any, effect these cuts will have on other elements of the company's workforce such as research and manufacturing. Learn More

Novo Nordisk, which employs almost 1,200 manufacturing workers, will invest $22 million at its Clayton facility, creating 22 full-time jobs. The move comes just ten months after the world's leading diabetes care company unveiled plans for a $65 million expansion there. Johnston County's Board of Commissioners voted earlier today to approve a seven-year package of financial incentives for Novo Nordisk's latest investment, the company's fourth in Johnston County since 2010. Novo Nordisk's Diabetes Finished Products (DFP) manufacturing facility in Clayton is responsible for the formulation, filling, inspection, assembly and packaging of diabetes and obesity medicines. Learn More

A group of developers has proposed building a three-building, 607,900-square-foot biotechnology and life sciences hub in Allston, MA. The project-which would also include 40 housing units, 21,100 square feet of ground-floor retail, and 1,900 square feet of open space would cover 4.3 acres now housing Stadium Auto Body, a diner, a sandwich shop, parking lots, and some houses. The hub, which has been dubbed NEXUS at the Allston Innovation Corridor, would also go up next to Harvard's big 36-acre satellite campus in Allston. The NEXUS plans have been submitted to the city and are under review. Learn More

10X Genomics has made public plans to move from its current 40,000 sq. ft. site to a new 150,000+ sq. ft. site in early 2019. The new site, located in Pleasanton, CA, will enable to company to add as many as 200 employees over the next few months. Alert readers will recall that 10x has enjoyed massive growth with earnings having increased more than 2,000 percent in the last few years. The company is noting that this expansion of its presence in California will not have an adverse effect on its ongoing operation in Germany. Learn More

GE Healthcare has announced the opening of a biotechnology manufacturing center at the Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst (SBC) Open Innovation Campus, in Stevenage, UK. In the first half of 2019, the center will start producing a fiber-based purification platform, which has the potential to significantly improve efficiency in the purification steps of manufacturing biopharmaceuticals, gene therapies and viral vectors. "The fiber-based chromatography technology developed and manufactured in Stevenage will extend GE Healthcare's start-to-finish bioprocess purification portfolio." Learn More

Lonza has announced the opening of its new R&D center in Israel, named Israeli Collaborative Innovation Center (CIC). The Center, located in Haifa's Life Science Park, currently employs 15 researchers, focusing on molecular biology and molecular genetics. The new Center will cooperate with Chaim Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer, one of the most prestigious in the world for CAR-T therapies, specifically for manufacturing techniques. Learn More

Rentschler Fill Solutions, a contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO), has officially inaugurated its new state-of-the-art facility in Rankweil, Austria. In August, the company obtained the certificate of GMP compliance and the pharmaceutical manufacturing license for the European market from the Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety. From the laying of the first stone of the foundation in July 2016 to completion of the GMP approval in August 2018, the new facility was completed in the record time of two years. Learn More