The facility, run by Roche subsidiary Genentech, is one of the largest biomanufacturing sites in the world, but last week the firm said it is laying off 130 workers.
“Following a detailed operational analysis, we have made the difficult decision to eliminate approximately 130 positions at our Vacaville facility by the end of the year,” Roche spokesperson Anja von Treskow told this publication.
“We are making this organisational change in response to current and anticipated production requirements, the volumes required for some of our new medicine formulations, and shift schedule adjustments.”
The site makes a number of Roche/Genentech biologic bestsellers including Avastin (bevacizumab), Rituxan (rituximab), and Herceptin (trastuzumab), all of which are beginning to face biosimilar competition across multiple markets.
The threat of biosimilars delayed a CHF 140m ($140m) expansion at the site intended to push total capacity up to 240,000L by several years, though in November 2013 Roche said it was going ahead with the plans after anticipated revenue drop did not materialise.
However, four years on von Treskow was unable to comment on whether this “organisational change” was due to biosimilar competition.