03.07.2015 - Biotech giant Biogen is investing CHF 1bn in a new pharmaceutical production plant in the Swiss town of Luterbach. Noted as one of the world’s oldest biotech firms, the new plant will create up to 400 jobs.
US-based biotechnology play Biogen Inc. plans to invest CHF1bn (€0,9m) in a new manufacturing plant in the town of Luterbach near Zurich, which will make it the company’s fifth production plant. The construction of the new plant will begin later this year subject to approval by the Swiss government. It will be completed in 2018. Production of the new bioreactors will work with mammalian cells and is estimated to begin in 2019. It will triple Biogen’s global capacity to produce large protein-based drugs known as biologics. It currently makes its portfolio of multiple sclerosis and haemophilia drugs in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where it is headquartered. The plant in Cambridge is the company’s oldest plant with a capacity of about 10,000 litres. Here it produces two interferon-based multiple sclerosis drugs, Avonex and Plegridy, as well as Eloctate, a haemophilia drug that won US regulatory approval last year.
Details of the size of the plant or the drugs that Biogen plans to manufacture in Switzerland have not yet been disclosed, but it will draw on state-of-the-art biotech manufacturing technology. “The canton of Solothurn provides a business-friendly environment, reliable infrastructure, and access to a well-trained labour force,” said Natascha Schill, CEO of Biogen Switzerland.
Biogen was founded in 1978 in Geneva, and after its merger with US Idec Pharmaceuticals to become Biogen Idec, became the third largest biotech company in the world. Since 2004, the head office of Biogen International has been located in Zug, Switzerland. The company currently employs approximately 7,500 worldwide, and 300 people in Switzerland.
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