Eli Lilly to demolish mothballed Erbitux plant in NJ

The former Imclone facility will be knocked down to give Eli Lilly “flexibility for future opportunities” at its Branchburg, New Jersey site, the firm says.

Building 36 on Eli Lilly’s Branchburg, New Jersey campus is scheduled to be demolished by the end of the first quarter of 2019, Lilly spokesperson Tamara Ann Hull told BioProcess Insider.

“A second building on the same campus – a new, higher capacity, modern facility, Building 50 – has been producing biologics since 2006. Therefore, Building 36 has sat idle for a number of years,” she said.

Eli Lilly is demolishing a former Erbitux plant at its Branchburg, New Jersey site. Image: Google Streetview

“As part of Lilly’s plan for the site, we are demolishing this building to prepare for future opportunities as our pipeline evolves.”

The facility began production in 2001 when the site was owned by ImClone systems. The single-product plant, had a capacity of 30,000 L and produced 250kg/year of cancer biologic Erbitux (cetuximab).

Lilly acquired ImClone in 2008 for $6.5 billion, and two years later stopped manufacturing operations from the plant. Erbitux had been marketed by Bristol-Myers Squibb in North America but Lilly regained the rights to the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) antagonist in 2015.

“The building was for sale previously,” said Hull, but “with additional evaluation, Lilly decided the land would be important to keep to give us flexibility for future opportunities on the Branchburg manufacturing site campus.

“Therefore, we removed the building from the market and decided to demolish the building instead.”

Manufacturing equipment

Before the demolition, Lilly is looking to offload the production line.

The process and industrial real estate firm International Process Plants (IPP) is currently “taking offers for the entire process line as a package,” a spokesperson told us.

Clipping from an advert for Lilly’s processing line. Image c/o ippe.com

“The plant is currently located in Branchburg, NJ but the entire process will need to be relocated.”

Equipment includes seven complete systems with a total volume of 30,000 L, more than 15,000 L of media buffer and preparation capacity, and a purification area comprised of chromatography equipment from Millipore & Chromaflow.

The price of the process lines was not disclosed, but if you are looking to acquire the former Erbitux production line then more information can be found here.

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