Roche building commercial plant as part of $700m CA spend

Following the inauguration of a Clinical Supply Center in South San Francisco, Roche’s Genentech has begun construction of a small-batch commercial plant at its Oceanside site.

Acquired from Biogen Idec by Genentech (later part of the Roche Group) in 2004, the Oceanside, California site boasts seven buildings with 575,000 square feet of manufacturing capacity spread across 60 acres.

Now the firm has broken ground on another facility, which will produce small-batch commercial biologics.

Image: DepositPhotos/

According to the firm, the plant will use “the most advanced manufacturing technologies and modern, modular equipment to significantly increase speed and agility during the production of commercial medicines for patients.” This will include the adoption of single-use technology, automation, and digital manufacturing tools.

The plant, which forms part of a $450 million expansion at Oceanside, will work in unison with Genentech’s recently completed $250 million Clinical Supply Center in South San Francisco. The facility aims to support Roche’s early phase clinical trial biologic candidates and centers around a ‘ballroom’ style bioreactor setup, allowing rapid reconfiguring of equipment for various scenarios and scales.

The facility “is at the forefront of a modern manufacturing evolution,” said Jeff Davis, executive director at the Clinical Supply Center. “Keeping pace with the increasingly personalized nature of health care, it presents a new model for small-batch manufacturing that enables speedier bench-to-bedside delivery of clinical trial medicines and more agile production of potential therapeutics for smaller patient populations, including those with rare diseases or specific biomarker-driven subtypes of cancer.”

Once the Oceanside facility is online (expected 2025), tech transfers between the two sites will occur at what the company says will be unprecedented speed. “It will just take a matter of days – instead of the traditional six to eighteen months – to complete this process, ultimately getting medicines to patients faster.”