Baxalta shifting to biosimilar outsourced model, selling ex-Genmab MN plant

By Dan Stanton

- Last updated on GMT

Baxter bought the Brooklyn Plant, Minnesota plant from Genmab in 2013. Image: Google Streetview
Baxter bought the Brooklyn Plant, Minnesota plant from Genmab in 2013. Image: Google Streetview

Related tags: Etanercept, Monoclonal antibodies

Baxalta will sell a Minnesota facility it acquired from Genmab in 2013 as part of a new outsourcing strategy it has adopted for biosimilar production.

In 2013,​ Genmab sold the 215,000sq ft Brooklyn Park, Minnesota biomanufacturing facility to Baxter for $10m (€8m), telling this publication it was looking to move away from in-house manufacturing.

Just two years on, Baxter’s biopharma spin-out Baxalta is following the same strategy and has put the bulk production site up for sale.

“Baxalta is prioritizing its operations and manufacturing investments, and the Brooklyn Park facility would require additional investments to upgrade its capabilities.”​ Baxalta spokesman Geoffrey Mogilner told biopharma-Reporter.com.

“As we are moving to an outsourced model for our biosimilars business, we are looking at options to sell the facility.”

Baxalta’s pipeline is focused on haemotology and biosimilar products, with the firm developing the latter through a series of partnerships. There are ongoing collaborations, for example, with Momenta and Coherus Biosciences​ for copycat versions of biologics including versions of AbbVie’s Humira (adalimumab), and Amgen’s Enbrel (etanercept).

The facility

The Brooklyn Park mammalian cell culture facility is not currently supporting any clinical projects or manufacturing any products, Mogilner said, but Baxter has invested in the plant since the acquisition.

“We have executed a number of important initiatives to upgrade the facility and prepare processes for improved operational efficiency in anticipation of commercial production, such as substantial improvements to the facility’s quality, QC and IT systems.”

While the site is designed to support production of monoclonal antibodies, he added it could produce other recombinant proteins using a cell-culture process, and “includes several bioreactors, a fully equipped QC laboratory and a staff with experience in mAb processes”​ for any potential buyer interested.

Total capacity is 22,000L, comprising two segregated manufacturing trains with 2 x 1,000L and 2 x 10,000L bioreactors, with flexibility to operate the 1,000L reactors at 400L and the 10,000L reactors at 5,000L.

The plant was constructed in 2004 at a cost of about $240m, and is located about 15 miles from Minneapolis.

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