Genentech parent company Roche to sell 427K sf Vacaville facility

Site is one of the largest biotech manufacturing facilities in the world

Genentech's Alexander Hardy and Roche 's Thomas Schinecker with 1000 New Horizons Way
Genentech's Alexander Hardy and Roche 's Thomas Schinecker with 1000 New Horizons Way (LinkedIn, Roche Group, Google Maps, Getty)

Biotech giant Genentech’s parent company Roche is looking for a buyer for one of the world’s largest biotech manufacturing facilities.

The Basel, Switzerland-headquartered drugmaker will sell the 427,000-square-foot facility or shutter it by 2029, the North Bay Business Journal reported. Roche declined to comment on the listing price, the cost savings of the decision or whether the move is to off-set losses, according to the outlet. 

Genentech’s 800-person facility at 1000 New Horizons Way cost $250 million to build, and came online in 2000. Roche acquired the South San Francisco-based Genentech in 2009. The New Horizons plant has produced some of Genentech’s revolutionary cancer-fighting drugs like Herceptrin and Avastin, and more recently the arthritis and Covid-19 drug Actemra. 

Roche plans to retain the 800 employees who work at the New Horizons facility, and move the drug production operations there to a newer facility, the outlet reported. Genentech employs more than 13,000 people across its operations, and Roche has more than 100,000 workers globally. 

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The area around Genentech’s Vacaville facility has evolved into a biotech manufacturing hub since the plant first opened more than two decades ago. Cancer therapy firm Agenus bought a 120-acre site in Vacaville in 2021, according to the Vacaville Reporter. Polaris Pharmaceuticals and Mettler-Toledo Rainin both opened facilities there last year.

Bay Area office leasing has taken punch after punch since the work-from-home revolution began. In the fall, San Francisco mayor London Breed expressed hope that biotech firms could move in to fill the tech-shaped gap in the city’s office market. 

A Chicago-based developer recently backed out of its plans to build a 14-story life sciences building in Emeryville, wary of the sector’s cooling demand. 

–– Kate Hinsche