Genmab puts fire sale on Minnesota plant

After three years with no buyers, Danish cancer biotech Genmab has marked the value of a $240 million plant in the U.S. to zero, anxious to get it off its books.

The company closed the cell-culture manufacturing plant in Brooklyn Park, MN, in 2009 and whacked 300 workers as it sought to cut costs. It has been trying to sell it ever since.

Genmab CEO Jan van de Winkel said last week, "There was a lot of activity and interest in the facility over recent months, but no firm offer has been received. Due to the continued uncertainty, we have taken the step to write down the facility to zero and will now enter into an aggressive sales process with the aim of closing a transaction within the next few months."

According to Genmab, the plant sits on a 36-acre site and includes a 215,000-square-foot mammalian cell-culture manufacturing facility with a 22,000-liter capacity. The site also has a separate 19,000-square-foot lab. 

Genmab has struck a number of discovery deals this year. In October, Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ) agreed to in-license a promising antibody from Genmab, paying $55 million upfront and investing $80 million. It will cover development costs, including Phase I and Phase II studies under way. The deal, if it plays out to the end, could reach $1.1 billion.

- read the release
- read about the plant (pdf)

Special Report: Genmab and Novartis - Top 20 biotech licensing deals in H1 2012