Seattle Genetics has agreed to acquire Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS)’s Monte Villa Parkway Research Center, a Bothell, WA, pharmaceutical manufacturing facility, for a combined $43.3 million.

Seattle Genetics said it plans to use the facility primarily for antibody production for current and future pipeline programs. The facility would be the company’s first manufacturing site, having relied until now on contract manufacturers.

“This turnkey manufacturing facility provides the capability, capacity, and skilled workforce needed to support our expanding antibody–drug conjugate and immuno-oncology pipeline, and complements our existing outsourced manufacturing model,” Vaughn Himes, Ph.D., Seattle Genetics CTO, said in a statement. “Its location near our corporate headquarters will provide operational synergies with our current technical operations team and underscores our strategy for continued growth in Washington state.”

Monte Villa Parkway Research Center is some 20 blocks south of Seattle Genetics’ headquarters campus, where the company now leases seven buildings.

Seattle Genetics said yesterday that it intends to offer employment to the manufacturing facility’s current employees. About 75 employees are based at the facility, Seattle Genetics chairman, president, and CEO Clay Siegall, Ph.D., told The Seattle Times.

According to a Form 10-Q regulatory filing dated yesterday, Seattle Genetics paid $17.8 million to an entity of lab space developer/owner BioMed Realty for the site, which includes the 51,000-square-foot manufacturing building and its property.

In a deal completed Monday, Seattle Genetics assumed rights and obligations assigned by Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) from an earlier purchase agreement for the site, which BMS had leased from owner BioMed Realty. That lease will end later this year, upon closing of Seattle Genetics’ agreement to acquire plant equipment and improvements within the research building from BMS for $25.5 million.

$37M BMS Investment

According to a listing on BioMed Realty’s website, the Monte Villa Parkway Research Center was built in 1996 and renovated in 2002. The building can accommodate tenants seeking between 5,000 and 31,900 square feet, but also includes first-floor incubator space for smaller tenants with immediate lab needs, a loading dock with a dock lift and roll-up doors, and free parking, according to a listing on the real estate website Loopnet.

In 2014, BMS invested $37 million in equipment and facilities for the plant, with the goal of producing drugs in sufficient quantities for clinical trials. BMS inherited the site after shelling out $885 million in 2010 to acquire ZymoGenetics, which previously leased the site from BioMed Realty

Last December, BMS shifted to the Bothell site “a few” of the 80 employees once based at another ZymoGenetics site, the Seattle City Light Steam Plant in the city’s Lake Union section, the Puget Sound Business Journal reported at the time.

BMS has opted not to renew its lease at the Steam Plant, where it occupies 127,000 square feet, when it expires in 2019. That has fueled local speculation that BMS will ultimately withdraw from the Seattle region.

The Seattle region, which ranks No. 7 in GEN’s list of Top 10 U.S. Biopharma Clusters, has been stung in recent years by setbacks ranging from budget cuts by the state of Washington, to the departure of another biotech giant, Amgen—though Seattle Genetics said in January it would add 200 employees in the region this year.

Previous articleIBT, Scripps Win $6.6M to Develop Pan-Ebolavirus Vaccine
Next articleSpread of Infectious Disease Due to Climate Change May Be Greater Than Previously Thought