Empty AstraZeneca plant sized up by CDMO which may or may not be AGC Biologics

biologic drug manufacturing
Colorado officials are hoping to entice an unnamed CDMO with experience in cell lines to take over a closed AstraZeneca plant in Boulder. Documents point to AGC Biologics, which has been expanding. (AGC Biologics)

Colorado is making a play for a Japanese CDMO in hopes it will invest about $100 million in an empty AstraZeneca plant in Boulder. It just isn’t saying who it is.

Development officials have put together a package of about $6.5 million in tax incentives for what it has code-named Project Blizzard. The Colorado Daily reports there are inferences the CDMO is AGC Biologics. Documents indicated the CDMO would invest about $100 million in the facility and create 280 new jobs.

RELATED: AstraZeneca lays off 210 workers in Colorado as it closes 2 ex-Amgen plants


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The newspaper says the state’s description of the CDMO matches that of AGC Biologics, a company with a Japanese parent and headquarters in Washington state. AGC, which has its North American operations based out of Seattle, is owned by Japan’s AGC Asahi Glass.

AGC was formed after Japan’s AGC Asahi Glass first acquired Heidelberg-based clinical supply producer Biomeva in 2016 and then followed that up with the $511 million buyout of Denmark-based CMC Biologics in 2017. It designated CMC’s Bothell, Washington, operation the drug business' headquarters because of its intent to focus on the U.S.

RELATED: AGC Biologics expands plasmid DNA capacity as gene therapies move front and center

AGC, which is expanding, recently completed improvements at its site in Heidelberg that boost its plasmid DNA capacity.

AstraZeneca early last year shuttered its Colorado facilities in Boulder and Longmont and laid off 210 workers. AstraZeneca had acquired the plants in 2015 from Amgen for about $80 million but closed them in a revamp of its biologics manufacturing.

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