AGC Biologics announced Monday that it has acquired AstraZeneca’s 300,000-square-foot facility in Boulder and will revive manufacturing operations there in April.
The Japanese biopharmaceutical company, which provides contract development and manufacturing services globally, said it will invest $100 million in and employ 280 workers at the facility, located at 5550 Airport Blvd.
“The addition of this facility supports AGC Biologics’ company-wide expansion initiative, which demonstrates our dedication to support our customers’ demand for mammalian projects, now and into the future,” the firm’s CEO, Patricio Massera, said in a release. “This facility will enable us to continue to advance the development, manufacturing and commercial functions within our dynamic global company.”
The Boulder plant houses two 20,000-liter stainless steel mammalian cell bioreactors, and the company noted it could fit up to four more on its 20 acres. Those bioreactors are helpful in antibody research and development.
“Investments like this make Japan one of Colorado’s closest foreign partners and deepens our ties with Asian markets while furthering Colorado’s international economic attraction,” said Michelle Hadwiger, director of global business development at the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade.
She added that the firm’s presence and its manufacturing capacity could attract other innovative biotech startups to the region.
In February, the Colorado Economic Development Commission approved a Job Growth Incentive Tax Credit potentially worth $6.4 million and a Strategic Fund incentive of $75,000 under the code name Project Blizard. Boulder provided a local match of $75,000.
The incentives are contingent on AGC bringing 280 net new jobs to Boulder over the next eight years. The jobs are expected to come with an average wage of $96,000 a year.
Clif Harald, executive director of the Boulder Economic Council at the Boulder Chamber of Commerce, said in a statement that finding a new owner for the AstraZeneca facility has been a top priority the past 16 months.
One concern was that the longer the facility sat vacantly, the more likely it would face obsolescence. AstraZeneca acquired the location in 2015 from Amgen, which had shut it down in 2012.
“We couldn’t be more excited to see this special manufacturing facility brought back online by a global leader in the production of advanced bioscience therapeutics,” said Harald.
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