VACAVILLE, Calif., July 09, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Agenus Inc. has purchased 120-acres in Vacaville’s California Biomanufacturing Center from housing developer A.G. Spanos, a transaction that represents a major advance in the city’s plans to expand its biotechnology footprint and solidify itself as a global center for biomanufacturing.
A.G. Spanos has worked with the City of Vacaville since the launch of the City’s Biotechnology and Advanced Manufacturing initiative in October of 2020. Together they have been working to identify acquirers of the property that would develop biomanufacturing facilities.
“Vacaville has been successful in recruiting biomanufacturing over the years and our team at Cushman and Wakefield led by Ryan Hattersley are very proud to represent Agenus. This will be the first biopharma firm to locate here that will also be conducting high level research on a larger scale,” said Brooks Pedder, Executive Managing Director at Cushman & Wakefield. “In terms of high-quality jobs and commitment to the region, this is an enormous win for Vacaville.”
Agenus is a Lexington, Massachusetts-based company that discovers, manufactures, and develops immuno-oncology products. The company’s portfolio includes checkpoint antibodies, cell therapies, vaccines, and adjuvants, representing a combination of agents to deliver curative patient outcomes.
“Agenus is the type of advanced therapies manufacturer we envisioned locating facilities in Vacaville when we recognized the strengths we have as a center for biomanufacturing and decided to make a concerted effort to expand the number of biotech companies already here producing high-value products,” said Vacaville Mayor Ron Rowlett. “We will work with Agenus through our Biotechnology Fast Track permitting program for biomanufacturers to make the process for getting them up and running as fast and frictionless as possible.”
Vacaville, located 50 miles northeast of San Francisco along Interstate 80 between the University of California Berkeley and Davis campuses, has been a center for biomanufacturing since the 1980s. It gained recognition as a world-class biotechnology center in 1994, when Genentech acquired land for its biologics manufacturing facility, among the largest biotech drug manufacturing complexes in the world.
In October of 2020, the City of Vacaville announced the start of the next generation of its world class biomanufacturing cluster dubbed the California Biomanufacturing Center with the identification of 300 acres available for development. It has identified land to build an estimated 3 million additional square feet of biomanufacturing facilities beyond the Agenus acquisition.
“We are excited to expand our manufacturing and process research capabilities in Vacaville as we contemplate the commercialization of our exciting pipeline of high-tech cancer treatments,” said Garo Armen, PhD, CEO of Agenus. “The City of Vacaville is a true partner with their commitment; Vacaville’s close proximity to talent and its high quality of life offerings were amongst the key considerations in our decision.”
The Agenus site is in the heart of the California Biomanufacturing Center at the intersection of Interstates 80 and 505. It is adjacent to the Genentech facility there.
“Agenus has already proven to be a terrific partner. The company has expressed its commitment to the community and its willingness to lead as the first of a new generation of biomanufacturers in the city,” said Matt Gardner, president of the nonprofit California Biomanufacturing Center (CBC). CBC works with stakeholders to address biomanufacturing challenges and ensure that Vacaville remains a place for the industry to flourish.
“This investment validates the city’s vision for biomanufacturing,” he said.
Levine Media Group