The 215,000 sq ft Brooklyn Park facility in Minnesota was sold by Genmab to Baxter International in 2013 for $10m (€9.2m), and in September spinout company Baxalta told this publication it was looking to offload the site as part of its move away from in-house production.
Four months on and Japanese biopharma firm Takeda says it has bought the plant for an undisclosed amount, in order to manufacture its ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease treatment Entyvio and other unnamed biologics in its portfolio.
The monoclonal antibody was approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in March 2014 and by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) two months later, and is considered a major growth driver for Takeda with expected worldwide sales expected to surpass $2bn.
“Acquiring the state of the art Brooklyn Park facility and gaining access to a highly experienced and dedicated team is a very important strategic benefit for Takeda that reinforces and expands upon our global operations for Entyvio and future biologic products,” Thomas Wozniewski, Global Manufacturing and Supply Officer at Takeda, said in a statement.
A company spokesperson added Takeda has extended offers of employment to all 42 employees at the site, and told Biopharma-Reporter:
"We will immediately start to plan the necessary changes to processes and the facility to receive approval for commercial manufacturing. After construction and the facility and equipment qualification we should initiate the Entyvio process technical transfer."
The mammalian cell culture facility boasts a total capacity of 22,000L, consisting of two segregated manufacturing trains with 2 x 1,000L and 2 x 10,000L bioreactors. There is also flexibility to operate the 1,000L reactors at 400L and the 10,000L reactors at 5,000L.
After Baxter acquired the site, it invested in improving the facility’s quality, QC and IT systems, but has not recently been supporting any clinical projects or manufacturing any products, the firm told us in September.
Takeda has a a biomanufacturing facility in Tokyo, Japan, as well as vaccine manufacturing plants in Germany and North Carolina. The firm also has a vaccine cell culture plant in Hikari, japan, set up in a joint venture with Baxter in 2010.