Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Genentech expansion to add 200 jobs

Genentech expansion to add 200 jobs

By Melissa Murphy/ MMurphy@TheReporter.com
Posted: 10/15/2013 01:01:24 AM PDT

Biotechnology giant Genentech Inc. announced it will invest $153 million in its Vacaville location as part of expanding its manufacturing facility.

A press release issued by Genentech on Monday said that the expansion will involve a re-open and upgrade of the facility, and will create approximately 200 jobs, including more than 100 skilled technicians, scientists, engineers and quality professionals by the end of 2014. Hiring will start in late 2013.

With the expansion, Vacaville will be the largest producer of biologic substances for Genentech and Roche and the biggest biotech facility in the world, according to the company.

It's great news for Vacaville, said City Manager Laura Kuhn.

"It's fabulous," she said. "It's one of our larger employers with high-wage jobs. It's better for our community."

She said there will be some permits needed for the upgrade, but that the company is using an existing part of the building that sits at the corner of Vaca Valley Parkway and Interstate 505.

Kuhn said Solano Community College is looking to expand classes for the biotech industry at its Vacaville location, which is right across the street from Genentech.

"It's exciting," she said. "The city is thrilled. We've built a great bond with Genentech and we work well together."

Solano Economic Development Corp. President Sandy Person said the news is also great for Solano County.

"It's a very cool thing and great news for Vacaville and Solano County," she said. "It's a real boon for Solano County's biotech cluster."

She added that, coming out of a recession, there is momentum in the housing and business industries.

"We are well poised to reap the benefits of new activities and investments," she said.

Genentech also is expanding in Southern California.

Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, will invest another $132 million at its manufacturing facility in Oceanside.

The company currently employs approximately 10,000 people in the state. The expansions will add 250 jobs at the facilities during the next four years, bringing the total number of Genentech manufacturing jobs in California to close to 3,000, according to the press release.

"California has always had an impressive skilled workforce that has allowed Genentech to hire diverse and talented individuals in various disciplines," Ian Clark, chief executive officer of Genentech, said in the press release. "In recent years, California has made great strides toward improving the business environment for life sciences innovation and incentivizing manufacturing. We are committed to working with the state to continue this positive progress and make California an even better place to grow the industry."

Genentech's U.S. manufacturing network spans three locations in California -- South San Francisco, Vacaville and Oceanside -- and Hillsboro, Ore., producing medicines intended for the treatment of a wide range of diseases, including cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and asthma.

Follow Staff Writer Melissa Murphy at Twitter.com/ReporterMMurphy.