The award was for Genentech's Oceanside, California, facility and was presented during the annual International Society of Pharmaceutical Engineers (ISPE) meeting in Las Vegas earlier this week. The biotech giant originally bought the 500,000 sq ft. plant from Biogen Idec for more than $400m in 2005. Biogen Idec had completed construction of the plant in December 2004 for the production of multiple sclerosis drug Tysabri (natalizumab), which was pulled from the market in 2005 regarding safety concerns and then reintroduced a year later. The acquisition of the facility saw Genentech's manufacturing capacity jump by 30 per cent. The 90,000 litres of bioreactor capacity gained US licensing approval in April this year, which will be initially dedicated to producing bulk drug substance of the colorectal cancer drug Avastin (bevacizumab). The biologics manufacturing facility is located on a 60-acre site. The plant has a fermentation and purification production facility, a combination three-story QC lab and administration building, a Good Manufacturing Practice warehouse including a central weighing/dispense area, a central utilities building and an operations building, Industrial Info Resources reported. The facility was constructed using a Design-Build Hybrid approach. Genentech took out the top prize ahead of four other contenders which were recognised for individual areas of excellence. US-based Cook Pharmica was selected as winner of the facility of the year for facility integration; China-based Shanghai Roche Pharmaceuticals won project execution regional excellence; Japanese Taiyo Pharmaceutical Industry Company was winner of facility of the year for equipment innovation; and German Vetter Pharma-Fertigung was named winner for process innovation. Genentech is not new to accolades. Last month, the company was named second best employer in the biotechnology, biopharmaceutical, pharmaceutical and related industries by Science magazine. The six years previous, Genentech had held the top spot. BusinessWeek magazine named the company in the top 100 for most innovative companies and was in this year's FORTUNE's top 100 best companies to work for. Genentech was unavailable for comment at time of publishing.