Project Alert

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

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

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

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

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

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

Vaccine maker Seqirus, a business unit of CSL, has broken ground on a $140 million expansion of its manufacturing site in Holly Springs, North Carolina. The Holly Springs plant, at 475 Green Oaks Parkway, has already jumped from producing 3 million doses of the vaccine a few years ago to more than 20 million this year. The expansion will double that output to 40 million doses annually when it is completed in 2020. According to CSL CEO Paul Perreault, the company plans to make Holly Springs synonymous with flu vaccines. "We're really looking to expand the facility and really make it the place to supply influenza vaccines to the United States and to other spots around the globe," Perreault said. Learn More

Catalent Pharma Solutions has announced its plans to invest $2.5 million in a new, second clinical supply facility in Shanghai, China, due to open in early 2019. When completed, the facility is expected to employ 100 people and will double Catalent's total clinical storage capacity in China. The new 30,000 square-feet facility in Tangzhen, a district of Shanghai, will have three temperature-controlled rooms and will also offer returns and destruction services. Catalent will offer its FastChain® demand-led supply services from the new facility, as well as from the existing FTZ site. Learn More

Abzena CEO Dr. Jonathan Goldman has announced that the biotech has augmented its existing 500L scale biologics equipment with a $20 Million investment into two new manufacturing suites at 500 L and 2000 L scale in a new GMP facility in San Diego, which will be equipped with Sartorius single use bioreactors. Abzena's existing focus on cell line development is strengthened with a new ambr 15 automated high throughput bioreactor in Cambridge, UK, and existing synthetic chemistry capacity is increased with build out of a fully equipped multifume hood laboratory in Pennsylvania. Learn More

Abbvie has signed a ten-year lease for roughly 480,000 sq. ft. of space in a new research center at Oyster Point in South San Francisco. The space, located in the Gateway of Pacific development currently under construction, is in a 12-story tower that reportedly could hold as many as 1,500 workers. While completion of the first phase of the site is expected in 2019, Abbvie will not move in until 2021. Alert readers will recall that the Oyster Point development being built by BioMed Realty is massive, consisting of roughly 1.4 million sq. ft. of space, and just blocks from Genentech's longtime South San Francisco campus. Learn More

Alexandria Real Estate Equities has announced the development of a 175,000 sq. ft. property on its flagship
Maryland campus at 9800 Medical Center Drive, with the signing of a long-term lease with REGENXBIO. As the anchor tenant of the new office/laboratory development, REGENXBIO has executed a 15-year, 132,000 RSF lease with expansion options for its future HQ and R&D building. This strategic lease enables REGENXBIO to expand and consolidate multiple nearby sites at one campus location in the heart of the Shady Grove Life Sciences Center in Rockville, Maryland. Learn More

The Gateway, a retail center in Salt Lake City that has struggled in recent years to find its identity, took a major leap this week in its evolution into something more than a Mall, with the addition of Recursion Pharmaceuticals as a core tenant. The 5-year-old biotechnology company has moved its headquarters from the University of Utah's Research Park to a new 100,000-square-foot facility in the downtown shopping and entertainment center. The two-story space Recursion is filling was previously occupied by the retail giant Dick's Sporting Goods. Learn More

A former employee at Elancos' Larchwood, Iowa, animal vaccine manufacturing site has arranged to buy out his bosses. Eric Schuler was formerly head of engineering at the Elanco operations in Larchwood. Today he is president and CEO of newly formed, Harrisburg-based Vos BioTech, which has purchased Elanco operations in Larchwood. Vos BioTech's purchase means those at risk of losing their jobs in the Elanco move could find a home in the new company's operations at the same location - which consist of five research and development and manufacturing sites. Learn More

Allergan has pulled back from its planned $200 million plant expansion in Waco, Texas. The company says that its change of heart is a result of the loss of exclusivity for Restasis and a drive to improve manufacturing efficiency. The leading biopharma company first broke ground on the site in April 2016, in a plan that was to add as many as 250 jobs and 322,000 square feet of manufacturing space. Instead, Allergan stated it has 45 open positions across manufacturing, packaging, engineering and quality. Learn More

Johnson & Johnson has unveiled a new, state-of-the-art vaccines launch facility that represents a significant investment by the company in novel vaccines development. The new facility in Leiden, the Netherlands has been built by Janssen Vaccines & Prevention B.V., part of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson. It features innovative technological and manufacturing platforms that can support the large-scale production of Janssen vaccines for late-stage (Phase 3) clinical trials and - pending regulatory approvals - the launch of new vaccines on a mass scale for global public use. Learn More

Lonza has announced an expansion of its highly potent active pharmaceutical ingredient capacity for the specific support of antibody-drug conjugate payload manufacturing. The HPAPI expansion at its site in Visp is based on a tailored business agreement with a major biopharmaceutical partner that ensures ADC payload supply continuity and flexibility at reduced cost of goods. The plan encompasses two new manufacturing suites. The first of the two new HPAPI suites specifically supports a global biopharma partner by securing the long-term supply of highly potent ADC payloads. The second suite will be available to other customers for similar HPAPI and payload development and manufacturing programs. Learn More

In an filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Orchard Therapeutics has made public plans to raise upwards of $172 million in an upcoming IPO led by J.P. Morgan, Goldman sachs and others. The filing notes that these monies will be used to build a biologics manufacturing plant in the San Francisco Bay area to produce Strimvelis and finance the EU roll out of the drug. Alert readers will recall that GSK has a roughly 18% equity stake in Orchard following the latter taking over GSK's gene therapy portfolio in April of this year. Learn More

Novo Nordisk has announced the establishment of a manufacturing site in Fremont, California, to develop and produce stem cell-based therapies. The announcement follows the signing of a long-term lease on a good manufacturing practice (GMP) facility, previously operated by Asterias Biotherapeutics. The site will support Novo Nordisk's increased commitment to develop stem-cell based therapies within type 1 diabetes and other serious chronic diseases. Once operational in 2019, the facility will fulfil the supply of stem cell-based therapies for Novo Nordisk's clinical trial programs. Novo has also secured a two-year non-exclusive licence on Asterias' intellectual property relating to stem cell manufacturing technology. Learn More

Canadian biotech firm Medicago has broken ground on a new commercial vaccine production facility in Quebec City. The factory will come into operation in the winter of 2021 and the first doses of vaccines from the new plant are expected for the 2023 influenza season. Valued at $245-million, the 44,000-square-metre manufacturing complex will be located in the Estimauville Innovation Area in Quebec City, and will include the company's headquarters as well as research and development and production facilities. Medicago plans to invest close to $800 million in capital and operating expenses in its Quebec City operations over the next 10 years. Learn More

Lonza is investing $415 million to expand Ibex Solutions at its site in Visp, Switzerland. The two new Ibex Solutions, Ibex Design and Ibex Develop, are designed to meet the evolving needs of biotech companies.The offering enables biologics license applications (BLAs) to be submitted within 22 months from the start of process characterization. Eliminating the need for tech transfers, allowing process optimizations and creating operational efficiencies are expected to accelerate the path to market. Ibex Design and Ibex Develop will become operational in 2020 and provide a full range of manufacturing options from early development through to full commercialization. Learn More

Work is now officially underway on a new biopharma facility after several state officials gathered to break ground on the project this week. Once completed, the new Rubius Therapeutics facility will support 160 new jobs in manufacturing, biotech operations and other support functions. The company says it plans to invest up to $155 million over approximately five years to renovate an existing 135,000 square-foot building in Smithfield, Rhode Island. Rubius Therapeutics acquired the site from Alexion over the summer. Learn More

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Canada will invest $28 million to further strengthen the company's manufacturing facility in Mississauga, Ontario. The funds will enable facility improvements, equipment purchases and enhanced manufacturing capabilities. GSK's Mississauga facility will also soon begin producing Voltaren®, a consumer health brand in Canada for pain relief. The investment is part of Mississauga's Economic Development Strategy to expand its economic development agenda, remain competitive, measure success, and attract innovative businesses to the city. The city's life sciences sector is the second largest in Canada by number of employees. Learn More

Maravai LifeSciences has announced plans to relocate and expand its TriLink BioTechnologies operations with the signing of a lease on a new facility in the Sorrento Valley area of San Diego. TriLink will consolidate its San Diego facilities into a new 95,000-square-foot space with an option to expand for future growth. The new facility will house the company's current local staff of more than 150 and can accommodate growth to more than 350 R&D, commercial and manufacturing employees. The company's current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) production capabilities will also be relocated, validated and expanded. TriLink will be the lead tenant in the 180,000-square-foot building, which is located at 10770 Wateridge Circle. Learn More

Biomarin is investing $46 million to create a new drug product filling project at its facility in Shanbally. Co Cork. The biopharma says the project will allow it to maximize the flexibility of the site by augmenting the site's drug substance manufacturing and the secondary packing and labelling capability. A planning application will be submitted in the coming weeks. Biomarin executive vice-president Robert Baffi says the introduction of fill finish capacity at Shanbally provides for fully integrated manufacturing from bulk to drug product onsite. Learn More

GSK will begin production at a new factory in the UAE in 2020, according to the company's general manager for the Gulf region. In an interview with Gulf News, GSK regional general manager Sally Storey said that the company is "looking at options" for its UAE facility. "It may be that we don't build something, we may look through a partnership," the newspaper quoted her as saying. "We are relatively advanced in that right now. We're looking at about six products initially."In the interview, Storey declined to specify which products would be manufactured, nor the value of the investment in the UAE facility. Learn More

ABI-LAB in Natick, Massachusetts is investing $20 million to create ABI-LAB 2, a 65,000 sq. ft. bio-incubator scheduled to open in the Fall of 2019. The site, which will feature access to large and small lab equipment, a fully equipped cell culture room and more, is far larger than the current site and as such will facilitate significantly more lab space. Alert readers are likely familiar with ABI-LAB for its recently renovated existing 17,000 sq. ft. building offering 17 private lab suites, each roughly 500 sq. ft. in size as well as pre-clinical services. Learn More

Locus Biosciences, which acquired EpiBiome's bacteriophage discovery platform in July, is moving into nearly 24,000 square feet of new Class-A office and lab space at the Keystone Technology Park in RTP, North Carolina. According to Paul Garofolo, CEO of Locus Biosciences, "As our company continues exponential growth, we needed additional space to scale our team to support upcoming clinical trials, which are slated to begin in the first quarter of 2019. We made the strategic decision to in-source cGMP production of clinical trial material." EpiBiome employees have already started to relocate to North Carolina from California, and Locus expects to have 30 employees on staff by the end of this year. Learn More

Novartis has announced that the European Commission has approved Kymriah, a treatment co-developed with the University of Pennsylvania, which focuses on potentiating CAR-T cells. It is the first-in-class therapy to be granted approval by the FDA and EC. At the same time, Novartis has announced it plans to invest $90M+ in a new manufacturing site in Switzerland for Kymriah, which will create 450 jobs and will join the Morris Plains facility in New Jersey, already working at full capacity. Learn More

NewAge® Industries and its AdvantaPure® division recently completed renovation of 43,000 sq. ft. of existing space at the company's headquarters near Philadelphia, Pa.The renovated area now houses several new ISO Class 7 and 8 clean rooms for platinum-cured silicone tubing production, molded component operations, quality inspection and packaging for AdvantaPure's high-purity products. Newly constructed warehouse space was included in the renovation. The project took nearly two years from demolition to completion and cost $10 million. Learn More

LakePharma has announced the successful completion of its move and the consolidation of all of its antibody services at its new location at 201 Industrial Rd., San Carlos, CA."LakePharma is extremely happy to call this magnificent facility our new Antibody Center. With over 40,000 square feet of space specially designed for life science companies, we are able to consolidate all antibody services under one roof, with plenty of space for growth. For our valued customers, it means better and more efficient service coordination, faster timelines and extra capacity for high volume and more complicated projects...." said Hua Tu, Chairman, and CEO. Learn More

Minnesota is home to biopharma's such as Upsher-Smith Laboratories and ANI Pharmaceuticals, but Takeda's plant in Brooklyn Park will be the largest biopharma site in the state, with more square footage than a SuperTarget. The Brooklyn Park plant is working on its "process performance qualification" batches for Entyvio, and data from those test batches will be used to pass the U.S. FDA's standard drug-plant inspection process. Takeda acquired the 14-year-old plant in Brooklyn Park from Baxalta in December 2015, and has been working to bring it online since then. By roughly this time next year, Takeda hopes to be making real doses of the active ingredient for Entyvio. Learn More

Alnylam, which has invested $200M into the construction of a new 200,000 sq. ft. manufacturing facility, has secured additional space in Cambridge, MA. This comes as the company awaits a decision by the U.S. FDA regarding approval of its drug Patisiran, which has an August 11th PDUFA. The newly acquired space, located in the area around Kendall Square on Kendall Street and Main Street, is reported to be 72,000+ sq. ft. This additional space will provide the company with the room it needs to grow as it awaits the completion of its manufacturing site mentioned above, expected to be in 2019. Learn More

Alnylam, which has invested $200M into the construction of a new 200,000 sq. ft. manufacturing facility, has secured additional space in Cambridge, MA. This comes as the company awaits a decision by the U.S. FDA regarding approval of its drug Patisiran, which has an August 11th PDUFA. The newly acquired space, located in the area around Kendall Square on Kendall Street and Main Street, is reported to be 72,000+ sq. ft. This additional space will provide the company with the room it needs to grow as it awaits the completion of its manufacturing site mentioned above, expected to be in 2019. Learn More

CSL Behring has made public this week plans for a massive expansion in Bradley, Illinois. The first steps of the estimated 1.8 million-square-foot addition, to be called CSL South with the current site to be called CSL North, will begin this year with site preparation work. The expansion will occur south of the existing manufacturing plant, which has been on 64 acres at the corner of Armour Road and Illinois Route 50 in Bourbonnais Township since the 1950s. The entire expansion on the recently acquired neighboring 74 acres could take as long as 12 years to complete, noted plant manager and senior vice president Tricia Stewart and project manager Chris Abell. Learn More

Italian biotech company CSL has proposed building a more than 65,000-square-foot, $40 million, fermentation facility near Racine, Wisconsin. If approved, the site would be in the Caledonia Business Park on Nicholson Road. The proposal was put forward by CSL - Centro Sperimentale del Latte - through its affiliated Wisconsin Limited Liability Company, ProBio RE LLC. CSL, which was acquired by the biotech company Sacco Systems in 2016, manufactures probiotics, lactic acid bacteria, molds and yeasts used in dietary supplements and food production. This would be the first U.S. location for CSL. Learn More

This week local and state officials from Rhode Island gathered for the groundbreaking of Amgen's new next-generation biomanufacturing facility in West Greenwich. The new plant, which will be built on Amgen's existing 75-acre West Greenwich campus, will be the first next-generation biomanufacturing plant in the country. The multinational biopharmaceutical company headquartered out of Thousand Oaks, California, plans to invest up to $200 million in the approximately 120,000 square foot plant, which is expected to create about 150 new highly-skilled manufacturing positions and three to four-hundred construction jobs. Learn More

The Indian government has made public plans to set up of a state-of-the-art B-Hub, which will have a scale-up manufacturing facility for biopharma based R&D. This proposed facility, to come up with an estimated cost of Rs 60 crore, will be set up through Public Private Partnership in Genome Valley, which is India's first organized cluster for life sciences R&D. AB-Hub will be a first of its kind initiative in the country, aimed at providing much needed support to the biopharma R&D activities featuring a scale-up manufacturing facility along with a turnkey incubator/labspace module at GLP (Global Laboratory Practice) grade within a built-up area of 40,000 square feet. Learn More

HudsonAlpha has announced the opening of a second biotechnology building on its campus in the Cummings Research Park. The 100,000 sq. ft. building, to be known as the Paul Propst Center will house the institute's growing education and research programs and its growing biotech companies. The institute is designed to grow small biotech companies into larger companies. "What is the two-person startup moving from a university's lab or their garage going to need?" explained Carter Wells, vice president of economic development. "We've got a number of 240-square-foot lab spaces. It's a good size for a smaller company..." Learn More

The manufacturing facility vacated last fall by Alexion has a new owner. Rubius Therapeutics has announced the signing of a deal to purchase the 135,000-square-foot factory from Alexion. Founded in 2013, Rubius is developing treatments for cancer and other diseases using a new technology it calls Red Cell Therapeutics. The company raised $241 million last week in an initial public offering, which reportedly was the biggest-ever IPO by a Massachusetts biotech company. Terms of the sale, expected to close by Sept. 30, were not disclosed. Alert readers will recall that earlier this month Rubius made public its plans to build a manufacturing facility in Rhode Island. Learn More

Pfizer made public this week plans to build a new $465 million manufacturing facility at its operations south of Kalamazoo, creating more than 450 new jobs. After the Michigan Strategic Fund approved $11.5 million in incentives for the project, Pfizer said it would build the new 400,000-square-foot sterile drug manufacturing facility at its site in Portage and invest $1 billion in Kalamazoo County over the next six years. Groundbreaking for Pfizer's new building is planned for spring 2019 and its completion in 2021. After regulatory agencies validate the facility, production would begin in 2024. Learn More

The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, aka "The Hutch", has made public plans to expand its research operations to the nearby Lake Union Steam Plant building in Seattle, Washington. The move, facilited by the singing of a lease on the 106,000 sq. ft. building, will continue the iconic sites role as a laboratory building like few others. "With world-class lab space already onsite, the Steam Plant saves us time that a full build-out would otherwise require while providing another base for the critical work our growing team of researchers, faculty and staff do every day," Fred Hutch president and director Gary Gilliland said in a statement.
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Replimune, which is planning a $100 million IPO later this year, has signed an initial 10 year lease on roughly 63,000 square feet of space in the vacant office building at 33 New York Avenue in the Framingham Technology Park. According to filings with the SEC, the young biotech company will be spending roughly $20 million to construct and outfit both laboratory and manufacturing space on site. The purpose of which being to produce the volume of product required to meet near-term study requirements and support an eventual commercial launch of its products. Learn More

The soon to be former BMS site in Wallingford, Connecticut could see its single massive building demolished and repalced with two smaller industrial buidlings if a suitable tenant cannot soon be found. This comes amid news that BMS has filed a WARN notice with Connecticut detailing plans to eliminate an additional 149 staffers at the site between now and mid-August. Alert readers will recall that the real estate firm Calare Properties acquired the 915,000 sq. ft. BMS complex earlier this year and that BMS plans to vacate the site by years end. Learn More

Moderna Therapeutics this week opened its new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Norwood, Massachusetts. The digitally-enabled and environmentally sustainable 200,000 square foot clinical development manufacturing plant was built to advance Moderna's pipeline of mRNA-based medicines. Designed to Current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) specifications, the site gives the company the capacity to develop materials for preclinical toxicology studies as well as Phase 1 and 2 clinical development programs, and to manufacture, test and run fill/finish operations for its portfolio of mRNA development candidates.
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BioMarin has submitted plans for the construction of three buildings at 999 Third Street in San Rafael, California. The plans call for two of the buildings to be purpose built for R&D and office space while the third, a five story building, would serve as a combination senior center/senior housing for the community. The site, walking distance from the company's headquarters, has been the subject of a year long project involving the removal of tens of thousands of cubic yards of contaminated soil. Later this year, likely in September, BioMarin is expected to submit a comprehensive application for the construction project. Learn More

Boehringer Ingelheim has announced an investment of more than $230 million into a new manufacturing site in Lyon, France. The new 160,000 sq. ft. site, which will be dedicated to vaccine manufacturing, will create 100 new skilled jobs. Construction of the site is expected to begin in the Fall of this year, with the site becoming fully operational in the latter part of 2021. In related news, the process of fill/finish for the site will be carried out at the neighboring site of Lyon Portes-des-Alpes (Saint-Priest). Learn More

CDMO Halix has begun construction of a new 72,000 sq. ft. GMP facility at the Leiden Bio Science Park in the Netherlands. This will allow the company to expand its services associated with biologics manufacturing at the clinical and commercial scale. This will include both aseptic fill/finish and lyophilization services. In the coming year Halix will be extending its scope of services to include a greater emphasis upon therapeutic proteins and viral vaccines.
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Teva will be moving its U.S. headquarters from Pennsylvania to New Jersey, lured by 10-year, $40 million tax incentive plan. New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy announced the news last week. The plan requires Teva to bring jobs to New Jersey so to do so Teva will expand its New Jersey location to nearly 350,000 square feet, and expects to transfer or create 843 jobs, while retaining 232 existing positions, according to published reports. Alert readers will recall that this move was "under consideration" back in mid-June as Teva awaited final word on the value of the tax incentives and the number of jobs required to qualify. Learn More

Phibro Animal Health has announced plans to establish a biotech facility at the Finisklin Business Park in Sligo, Ireland. The Sligo plant, which is supported by the Irish Government through IDA Irland, will be the company's first biologicals manufacturing location in Europe and will allow Phibro to expand its presence in Europe. The new manufacturing facility will initially focus on producing Phibro's innovative line of vaccines for the treatment of a range of poultry diseases for sales globally. In the future, Phibro expects to expand production to include vaccines for livestock and aquaculture. Learn More

Rubius Therapeutics will build a 135,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Smithfield, R.I., after the State of Rhode Island approved roughly $6.4 million in tax credits. The plant is expected to create 160 highly skilled jobs in manufacturing and biotech operations. Rubius plans to invest up to $155 million over about five years to renovate a manufacturing facility in an existing building in Smithfield. The Board of the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation approved tax credits through the Rebuild Rhode Island Tax Credit Program and the Qualified Jobs Incentive Act. The estimated value of the Rebuild Rhode Island Tax Credit is about $2.75 million. Learn More

Mustang Bio's CAR-T manufacturing facility is up and running. The 27,000-square-foot facility is located at the University of Massachusetts' Medicine Science Park in Worcester. Mustang signed a lease for the space at the end of October, and anticipates it will support clinical development, commercialization and proprietary cell therapy research. Before the end of the year, Mustang expects to start processing patient cells as well as file its first IND application for MB-102, a potential therapy for acute myeloid leukemia and blastic plasmacytoid dendritic cell neoplasm.
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Boehringer Ingelheim has announced that it will spend $268 million to construct a new facility in Biberach, Germany focused on the large-molecule drugs. The BDC, short for Biologicals Development Center, will be a mixed use site: incorporating clinical trials, manufacturing, and analytical and process development under one roof. It will employ roughly 500 workers, and have a staggered launch starting in 2020, Boehringer estimates. In a statement, the industry leading biopharma said it's pledging more than 20% of the net sales it gets from human pharmaceuticals to R&D. During its last fiscal year, those sales reached $13.7 billion. Learn More

CellGenixhas successfully completed the first phase of its headquarters' expansion as more customers approach late-stage clinical development and commercialization. In a first step, the company added additional space to its HQ site in Freiburg, Germany. This included the addition of QC and R&D labs, as well as logistics and warehouse space. As the next step, a state-of-the-art, automated filling and freeze-drying line will be implemented in the existing GMP facility increasing finished product capacity for recombinant proteins by more than tenfold. This second phase of expansion is expected to be completed in the spring of 2019. Learn More

Thomas Jefferson University has announced details about its upcoming Jefferson Institute for Bioprocessing, a training and education center for the biopharma space set to open in 2019. The 25,000-square-foot space - first announced in February and created in partnership with Ireland's National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training (NIBRT) - is expected to train some 2,500 people a year when it opens in the spring of 2019. The hub will be based in Lower Gwynedd, Pa., as part of Montgomery County's Spring House Innovation Park development, a 133-acre, multi-use campus including office, laboratory and R&D space. Learn More

San Carlos city officials this week approved a developer's proposal to update designs for two buildings currently under construction on the city's east side. Previously dubbed Meridian 25, the project involves a proposal to build a 530,000-square-foot office complex at Industrial and Bransten roads. Sold to Alexandria Real Estate Equities in 2017, the property has been slated for the real estate company's specialty in life sciences but required officials' approval to make changes to the previously-approved design and accommodate biotech R&D there, according to Community Development Director Al Savay. Learn More

WuXi Biologics is investing $60 million in a new biologics manufacturing facility in Worcester, MA that is expected to create roughly 150 jobs. The 70,000- to 100,000-square-foot facility is to be constructed on the site of the old Worcester State Hospital, renamed the Worcester Biomanufacturing Park. WuXi Biologics will be the industrial park's first tenant. The site had originally been pitched to LakePharma but they opted instead to go with an existing site in Hopkinton, MA. This will be WuXi's 11th drug-substance-manufacturing facility globally, and the third outside China. The firm also has overseas sites in Ireland and Singapore. Learn More

Eisai has announced that it will close its site in Andover and launch the Eisai Center for Genetics Guided Dementia Discovery in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The Center will be located in a new, dedicated state-of-the-art facility and be funded by a $100 millioninvestment over the first three years, and anticipates substantially increasing funding as its pipeline develops. The new 50,000-square-foot facility is being constructed in the Alewife Research Center, and is expected to be fully operational in early 2019. At that time, Eisai will close its current site in Andover, Mass., and transition operations to the new Center in Cambridge, MA.

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