Baxter Evaluates Biomanufacturing at New Minnesota Plant

By Dan Stanton

- Last updated on GMT

Baxter Evaluates Biomanufacturing at New Minnesota Plant
Baxter says it is evaluating a number of options at its newly acquired Minnesota facility, though biosimilars will be the main focus.

The news comes following Baxter International’s Q1 FY2013 results, which fell in line with the company’s guidance. Revenue for the quarter stood at $552m (€424m), just short of the same period last year which was partially due to several acquisitions in the quarter, one of which was the $10m purchase of an antibody manufacturing facility in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota from biotech company Genmab.

The deal, which was finalized earlier this year, has added a 215, 000 sq ft facility to Baxter’s biologics manufacturing offering and though spokesperson John O’Malley told this publication that “the facility is designed to produce monoclonal antibodies,”​ - as was the case with the previous two owners, Genmab and PDL - he continued to say “it could produce other recombinant proteins using a cell-culture process.”​ 

According to Minnesota publication the Star Tribune​, Baxter intends to spend a further $300m on the site though O’Malley said Baxter has for now “not made any specific decisions with regard to future plans and [is] simply evaluating a number of options for the facility based on [its] pipeline”​.

He added: “Future decisions on additional investments will be made over time to expand on the technical capabilities of the site and equip the site for biosimilar production.”

Bio-Contracting

Back in February, Baxter invested $77m​ into its cytotoxic manufacturing plant in Halle, Germany citing a demand for biologics outsourcing as biopharma companies move away from in-house production.

This is certainly the strategy of Genmab who - through spokesperson Rachel Graveson - told Outsourcing-Pharma.com that the firm sold Brooklyn Park as “at is not part of Genmab's current strategy to own manufacturing capacity.”

The company, who now only use contract manufacturing organisations (CMOs), also said that they had “around 400 enquiries about the facility and about 20 CDAs [Confidential Disclosure Agreements] signed before the final sale to Baxter was completed.”

Such interest only goes to support the recent wave of CMO biologics activity. Within the last fortnight both Catalent​ and Cytovance​ have invested in the field, and can be added to a growing list of CMOs offering biomanufacturing services, which includes Lonza​, Piramel​ and Novasep.

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