‘The reason we are building a new facility in Everett, Washington is threefold, but primarily it is about our pipeline,’ says firm.
Antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) developer Seagen (previously Seattle Genetics), which is set to be acquired by Pfizer for $43 billion, announced plans in April 2022 to spend between $350 and $400 million to construct a greenfield biomanufacturing site in Everett, Washington.
The decision to build the 270,000 square-foot facility “is threefold, but primarily it is about our pipeline and how it allows us to be more flexible,” Mike Vandiver, site head, launch pad manufacturing, executive director at Seagen told delegates at BPI West 2023 in San Diego, California.
The firm has named the project “Launchpad” and Vandiver explained this is because the facility “can be used as a launch site for accelerated timelines.” He outlined the company has a pipeline consisting of over 20 molecules and thus, there is a need to shift program timelines, launch from Phase II on advanced timelines, and increase capacity needs for the future.
To ensure the facility’s future needs are catered for, Vandiver said the plant has been designed to be able to “accommodate future process technology and advancements [as] one thing that’s going to change is technology.”
The facility consists of five buildings, which are being built in phases, and they are connected by a main spine. Moreover, Vandiver told the audience the plant has been designed “to do concurrent manufacturing of multiple processes” with the aim of “driving speed and agility from the clinic through to the market.”
The Everett site will employ up to 200 workers to produce clinical and commercial products.
Talent shortages in the biopharma space have been globally reported with professionals forming a general consensus that the industry’s growth does not match the amount of talent available.
Vandiver echoed this sentiment and said it is a “very competitive environment for talent, so if you know people, contact me.”