Thursday, September 06, 2007

Pharmaceutical Company To Expand Vacaville Plant

Pharmaceutical Company To Expand Vacaville Plant
By Ines Bebea

VACAVILLE - Novartis AG, a global manufacturer of pharmaceuticals and health-related products, has announced plans to increase its staff and expand the size of its facility in Vacaville.

The expansion of the facility is expected to begin in the next few weeks, and it will add 7,000 square feet to the existing 61,000-square-foot plant.

"Their expansion means that Novartis is clearly committed to their facility in Vacaville," said Mark Mazzaferro, the city's public information officer. "For us, it means that we are a desirable location for biotech companies. In addition to Novartis, we have Genentech and Alza, a small group of companies in the biotech and pharmaceutical industries with operations in Vacaville."

Genentech is also expanding its Vacaville facility. Construction of the $600 million project, called CCP2, began in the third quarter of 2004. The expansion is scheduled to be completed by 2009, and the company hopes to have the required license from the Food and Drug Administration in the second half of that year.

"The new CCP2 facility will be configured with eight 25,000-liter fermentation tanks and, when combined with our existing facility, will add 200,000 liters of capacity," said Robin Snyder, a spokesperson for Genentech. "It will be the largest biotechnology manufacturing facility of its kind in the world."

Novartis representatives would not comment on the timeline or details for their Vacaville project. The company currently has 130 employees in Vacaville. According to a statement by the city, negotiations are under way with Novartis to finalize an incentives package to assist with its expansion plans.

Mazzaferro could not disclose the details of the incentives being discussed but said that the city has offered tax incentives to companies in the past.

"We want to let the rest of the (biotech) industry know that if they are considering a move to Vacaville, we understand their needs," Mazzaferro said. "We are willing to do whatever it takes to help their operations."

Reach Ines Bebea at 427-6934 or

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