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BioRegion Real Estate: Sep 4, 2009

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Citing Decline in Demand, Sanofi-Aventis Shutting Down KC Manufacturing Site

Sanofi-aventis US said this week it will close by mid-2012 a Kansas City, Mo., manufacturing site that mainly makes solid dose forms of oral medications, based on declining demand for the products in North America.

The company said in a statement it will close down the plant in phases stretching about two-and-a-half years, with additional details on the timetable and process to be disclosed by the end of November.

The shutdown will idle all 370 workers at the 33-year-old plant, originally operated by Ewing Kauffman's Marion Laboratories, and run since 2000 by Sanofi-Aventis and predecessor company Aventis.

Workers will be offered a transition bonus and offered career transition assistance, Sanofi-Aventis spokesman Jack Cox told the Kansas City Star.

Cox told the newspaper that Sanofi-Aventis had been seeking a buyer for the plant, at 10236 Marion Park Drive, since early 2008 and actually received some offers: “We did consider other buyers to sell the facility to, but determined their proposals weren’t sufficient to sustain the facility."

Sanofi-Aventis did not consider renovating the plant to manufacture other pharmaceutical products because the facility was designed to produce solid-dose medications involving chemicals, not biologic products such as injectable vaccines, Cox told the Star.


Roche Acquires Lonza's Singapore Manufacturing Facility, with Avastin Production Slated

Genentech Singapore, a wholly owned member of the Roche Group, has exercised an option to purchase from Lonza its cell culture biologic manufacturing facility in Singapore for $290 million plus additional milestone payments of $70 million, the companies have announced.

The facility, which is mechanically complete, will be merged with Genentech Singapore's existing biologic manufacturing facility. As part of Roche's integration of Genentech's technical operations following the former's $47 billion acquisition of the latter, biotechnology production facilities in Singapore operating under the Genentech name will later this year be renamed Roche Singapore Technical Operations.

About 230 Lonza employees will join Genentech Singapore Technical Operations, for a total site headcount of approximately 325. Lonza continues to employ over 80 people working at its own mammalian manufacturing plant, set to come on-stream in 2011, and plans to ramp up this number to over 300 employees in the next 12 months and beyond.

The Singapore manufacturing facility is expected to produce Avastin (bevacizumab), has 80,000 liters of fermentation capacity, and is located on approximately 10 acres at the Tuas Biomedical Park, with an option

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for up to 20 additional acres. Genentech Singapore’s existing 1,000-liter Ecoli manufacturing facility is expected to receive FDA licensure for bulk drug production of Lucentis (ranibizumab) injection in 2010.


FDA Renews Lease in Piedmont-Owned Shady Grove V in Rockville, Md.

The US Food & Drug Administration has renewed for a five-year term its lease for 108,518 square feet within Shady Grove V, at 9200 Corporate Blvd in Rockville, Md. The four-story building, within the Shady Grove Executive Center, is home to the FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health's Office of Device Evaluation.

Shady Grove V owner Piedmont Office Realty Trust, which announced the lease renewal, was represented by Ken Mulrane, Vice President, as well as Keith Foery of Transwestern. The FDA was represented by the US General Services Administration.


Genentech Inks New South San Francisco, Calif., Lease for 75K Sq. Ft.

Genentech has signed a lease for 75,000 square feet on four floors at 601 Gateway Blvd., a South San Francisco, Calif., building known as Gateway Commons and owned by Boston Properties, CoStar Group reported. The lease will commence in the first quarter of next year.

Gateway Commons is a 12-story, 215,767-square-foot, Class A office property built in 1984 on 7.24 acres. Tom Hayes of NAI BT Commercial represented Genentech, while Gregg Walker, Scott Miller and Sharon Chen of Jones Lang LaSalle represented Boston Properties.


Allegheny Bradford Expands Machinery Production with New Facility

Allegheny Bradford of Lewis Run, Pa., has opened an $8 million, 50,000-square-foot manufacturing facility designed to double the company's capacity for production of pharmaceutical and biotech machinery, especially with tanks and modular process systems, or "skids" used in the production of drugs. Before building the roughly $8 million facility, the company produced the machinery at a smaller scale at a smaller plant which is being retained.

Allegheny Bradford moved into the new facility last December, but needed until February to receive its equipment for the facility. "We've been truly on line and in production for four or five months," Dan McCune, president and chief executive officer of Allegheny Bradford, told the Bradford (Pa.) Era. "It's our intention to add in the neighborhood of 100 jobs over the next couple years."

"We were limited in the tank market and modular process systems market because of a lack of space. Here we can better take advantage of those markets," McCune told the newspaper.

McCune told the Era Allegheny Bradford started planning for the warehouse facility in 2007 due to growing demand from customers: "This has been a couple-year process."

The new facility, he added, allows manufacturers to test equipment on-site before shipping, which is important because international customers make up roughly 50 percent of sales, McCune said.


The Scan

Booster Push

New data shows a decline in SARS-CoV-2 vaccine efficacy over time, which the New York Times says Pfizer is using to argue its case for a booster, even as the lower efficacy remains high.

With Help from Mr. Fluffington, PurrhD

Cats could make good study animals for genetic research, the University of Missouri's Leslie Lyons tells the Atlantic.

Man Charged With Threatening to Harm Fauci, Collins

The Hill reports that Thomas Patrick Connally, Jr., was charged with making threats against federal officials.

Nature Papers Present Approach to Find Natural Products, Method to ID Cancer Driver Mutations, More

In Nature this week: combination of cryogenic electron microscopy with genome mining helps uncover natural products, driver mutations in cancer, and more.