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Seattle Genetics gains first production site through $43m BMS plant buy

Dan Stanton

By Dan Stanton+

02-Aug-2017
Last updated on 02-Aug-2017 at 12:03 GMT2017-08-02T12:03:10Z

Image: iStock/TeamOktopus
Image: iStock/TeamOktopus

Seattle Genetics paid Bristol-Myers Squibb $17.8m for the biomanufacturing site and says it will spend a further $25.5m on equipment and improvements to support antibody production.

The 51,000 sq ft facility, located near Seattle Genetics’ corporate headquarters in Bothell, Washington, will be used to make antibodies for the firm’s current and future pipeline.

It becomes the antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) maker’s first in-house production facility after it shelled out $17.8m (€15m) to buy the site from Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS).

“This newly acquired in-house manufacturing facility complements our existing extensive network of contract manufacturers,” a Seattle Genetics spokesman told Biopharma-Reporter.

“The facility is fully operational and meets our near-term production needs, which is part of the appeal and value for us.  We will evaluate renovation and expansion options as we move forward and identify the best way to maximize the facility to support our pipeline.”

Specific details of which antibodies would be made at the Bothell site - which opened in 2014 - were not disclosed but we were told there are plans to manufacture the antibody component of both Seattle Genetics ADC and immuno-oncology pipeline programmes, while conjugation capabilities could also be added at the site.

Seattle Genetics is one of a handful of companies to have gained regulatory success with an ADC drug. Its product Adcetris (brentuximab vedotin) was approved in the US in 2011 and last year it clocked in $266m of sales revenue for Seattle Genetics.

Under terms of the Asset Purchase Agreement, Seattle Genetics will pay around $25.5m to acquire equipment from BMS and make improvements at the site.

The firm will also retain all 75 BMS employees plus some contract staff who currently operate the facility.

While BMS has invested heavily in its biomanufacturing sites – including continued expansions at its Orencia (abatacept) production site in Devens, Massachusetts  and a $900m investment in a 30,000m2 biologics facility in Ireland  – it has been reshaping its network over the past decade, reducing its number of plants from 27 to 11 since 2007 .

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