Eli Lilly Selling Vacaville Plant, Will Close By July 2015

Eli Lilly Selling Vacaville Plant, Will Close By July 2015
April 28, 2015
By Riley McDermid, BioSpace.com Breaking News Sr. Editor

Eli Lilly and Company is finally giving up on its plant in Vacaville, Calif., a year after acquiring the 52-acre campus as part of its deal to buy Novartis AG ' animal health assets and will close the plant by July, the company confirmed Tuesday.

The multi-purpose facility is one of the largest bulk API manufacturing facilities for recombinant microbial-based biopharmaceuticals in the U.S.

Eli Lilly said it had hired CBRE Group, Inc. to unload the plant, though CBRE declined to comment to BioSpace on any potential buyers who may be interested or the number of jobs that may be created if it is sold.

A spokeswoman for Lilly's animal health division Elanco said in an email that Eli Lilly will close the facility by the end of the second quarter in 2015.

"As part of Elanco's acquisition of Novartis Animal Health, Elanco obtained a manufacturing facility in Vacaville, CA," Colleen Parr Dekker said in an email. "Due to Elanco's existing production capacity and comprehensive manufacturing network, Elanco plans to close the facility by Q2 2015."

The site includes a 52-acre campus, with 28 acres available for future expansion.

“The 74,577 square foot facility itself includes a state-of-the-art, downstream processing building, capable of handling complex purification steps, well-equipped analytical laboratories for raw materials, environmental monitoring and release testing and a mechanical workshop for equipment maintenance and calibration,” said CBRE in a statement. “A 1 MW solar panel array on site provides low cost electric power to the facility.”

CBRE Brokerage Services Life Sciences group will direct the marketing to U.S. and international biopharma firms.

Novartis originally acquired the site in 2006 when it bought vaccine company Chiron for $7.5 billion, as well as one further into the Bay Area in Emeryville, Calif. The company then ran afoul of regulators, saying in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in 2013 that the Justice Department had subpoenaed the company as part of a "civil and criminal" investigation concerning the quality of antigens produced at the site.

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