Large-scale plant is expected to produce bulk Avastin.

Genentech exercised its option to buy Lonza’s new 80,000-litre large-scale mammalian biologics manufacturing facility in Singapore for $290 million up front and potentially another $70 million milestones. The plant is expected to produce bulk drug substance for Avastin, and will be merged with Genentech Singapore’s existing 1,000-liter biologics production plant, which is expected to receive FDA clearance for bulk production of Lucentis in 2010.

Roche, which owns Genentech, said that by the end of 2009 the Singapore manufacturing facilities currently operating under the Genentech name will start operating under the Roche Singapore Technical Operations name.

Lonza built the cell culture facility in Singapore as part of the companies’ 2006 agreement, through which Lonza paid $150 million to acquire Genentech’s mid-scale Avastin-producing mammalian biopharmaceutical plant in Porrino, Spain.

Lonza is also building its own 80,000-liter large-scale mammalian manufacturing plant in Singapore, which is scheduled to come on-stream during 2011.

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