In August 2004, the company purchased a 16-acre site and began construction of a 8361-square--metre manufacturing plant in Lynnwood, Washington State.

The company has invested almost $70m in the first phase of the development of a commercial manufacturing supply centre for biopharmaceuticals on the site, the chief of these being Leukine, which it acquired in 2002. Leukine, used primarily in oncology and bone marrow transplantation, is now in Phase 3 of clinical development as a new biologic treatment for Crohn’s disease.

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The siting of the facility has ensured more than 100 manufacturing-related jobs have been retained at Berlex’s Washington operations. It is expected that the move will create a further 70. Future phases will be constructed based on the demand for Leukine and consolidation of Leukine production operations in the state. If things go to plan, said David Carlson, VP biologics manufacturing and logistics, the company expects to employ 180 people at Lynnwood by 2009.

“The primary goal is to take care of our Leukine product now and in the future, with a view to producing other internally developed, as well as externally acquired, products in the longer term,” he added.

“Schering’s decision to expand our existing commercial biologics manufacturing operations in Washington State was to ensure that we could provide the additional capacity we needed for Leukine, as well as for a growing pipeline of innovative, biotechnology-based therapeutics to support our specialised therapeutics and oncology businesses.”

Berlex’s substantial financial commitment at Lynnwood is part of Schering’s strategic global plan to ensure that it has the right infrastructure to support long-term growth.

The new operation represents one-third of Seattle’s production infrastructure and, as such, is considered by Washington State’s Snohomish County Economic Development Agency to be a boon to the area.

 

 

This news is provided by Oxford Intelligence’s IPAWorld news service. For a free trial of IPAWorld – the premier site for professionals involved in inward investment and cross-border business expansion – go to www.IPAWorld.com For more information, contact peter.lemagnen@oxint.com

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