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Boehringer buying Amgen site to expand biologics CMO biz

By Nick Taylor , 20-Jan-2011
Last updated on 25-Jan-2011 at 12:21 GMT

Boehringer Ingelheim is to acquire a California, US manufacturing facility from Amgen to expand its contract biologics production capabilities.

Acquiring the Fremont site builds on the West Coast biologics expansion Boehringer began by allying with Avid Bioservices. The 100,000 sq ft Fremont facility currently has 360 employees and houses a pilot plant and process development laboratories for biologics.

"The technological expertise at Fremont and the state-of-the-art facility will enable us to further strengthen our global contract manufacturing business including new biological entity process development and manufacturing efforts”, said Wolfram Carius, of Boehringer.

Amgen obtained the Fremont facility in 2006 through the $2.2bn (€1.6bn) acquisition of Abgenix. When Amgen acquired Abgenix the Fremont site produced panitumumab, a monoclonal antibody marketed as Vectibix.

Boehringer has provided contract production services to Amgen for 10 years and the site acquisition builds on and strengthens this relationship. Furthermore, the deal enhances biologics production expertise and capabilities at Boehringer.

Amgen will continue to have a presence in the San Francisco Bay Area biotech community through its research facility in the south of the city.

The deal is expected to close in March.

Biologics at Boehringer

Boehringer has a biologics production plant in Biberach, Germany that, according to the company, produces three of the world’s best selling biologics. Also, Boehringer has a production network, including Avid, which allows it to offer contract manufacturing at sites around the world.

Using this expertise Boehringer is supporting Kemwell as it builds a contact biologics production facility in Bangalore, India. The Bangalore site is using process technology from Boehringer to simplify tech transfer and scale-up if clients want to move production to the Biberach plant.

Expertise and experience gained by Boehringer from contract manufacturing will also support its in-house biologics pipeline as products move towards commercialisation.

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